Barnet councillor Brian Coleman calls members of the public “sad”, “mad” and “hags”

Cllr Brian Coleman caused uproar during a Barnet Council meeting after he called members of the public “sad, mad and bad” and “a couple of old hags”.

The Conservative councillor shouted the insults at the public gallery while talking about the council’s One Barnet programme during a full council meeting on Tuesday night (September 11).

Liberal Democrat councillor Jack Cohen said afterwards: “It’s totally unacceptable. The public gallery were noisy as they feel strongly about the One Barnet programme.

“Brian called them ‘sad, mad and bad’ people and then shouted ‘hags’.”

Fellow Conservative councillor Brian Sallinger walked out after Cllr Coleman made the comments.

He said: “I don’t think that that’s the way a councillor should speak to any member of the public.”

Theresa Musgrove, author of the Broken Barnet blog where she writes as Mrs Angry, was in the public gallery at the time.

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She said: “Brian Coleman’s behaviour last night was reprehensible. To refer to residents as ‘sad, mad and bad’ is simply appalling.

“To use the phrase ‘a couple of hags’ was simply outrageous - sexist, ageist and deeply offensive.”

She also criticised Mayor Cllr Brian Schama’s behaviour and said: “By any standards his behaviour was totally unacceptable, yet Tory Mayor Brian Schama was reluctant to ask Coleman to apologise, and chose to lecture the public gallery, which was in uproar, on the need to show respect to the council meeting.

“In my view...respect is due first and foremost from the councillors to the people whom they represent.”

The mayor later asked Cllr Coleman to apologise but he refused.

Cllr Coleman refused to comment and said: “I don’t speak to the Ham&High.”

Cllr Schama was not available for comment.