Barnet councillor Brian Coleman facing Tory suspension after assault charge

Former Barnet mayor Brian Coleman is facing suspension from the council’s Conservative group after police charged him with assaulting a woman.

Cllr Coleman, 51, of Essex Park, Finchley, was arrested after an alleged incident involving a woman in High Road, Finchley, on September 20.

On Monday, he was charged with assault by beating and driving without due care and attention.

Shortly after the charges were announced, Barnet Council confirmed that Cllr Coleman would continue as a Conservative councillor for Totteridge ward.

But since then the council’s Tory leader, Cllr Richard Cornelius, has said that he is initiating the process of suspending Cllr Coleman from the Conservative group.

In a statement, Cllr Cornelius said: “There are group rules that need to be followed and I must abide by these rules. Due process must be followed and I will update as and when I can.”

Earlier in the week, Cllr Cornelius released a statement insisting that Cllr Coleman would “take a back seat as regards Barnet politics until legal matters are resolved”.

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A council spokeswoman said: “The council is aware that Cllr Brian Coleman has been charged with criminal offences.

“The matter is therefore subject to judicial process and it would not be appropriate for the council to make any further comment that could be prejudicial to that process.

“Cllr Coleman continues as a ward councillor, his committee membership and chairmanship is a matter for full council.”

Cllr Coleman has been bailed to appear at Hendon Magistrates’ Court on November 5.