On Friday, Barnet Councillor Brian Coleman was convicted of assaulting Helen Michael in North Finchley. Sadly this appalling incident is not completely without precedent in Barnet. The Council has developed a reputation for being misogynistic and sexist way and now is the time for the administration to change its ways.
Coleman has a long history of appalling behaviour towards women, his assault on Helen Michael was one of a long list of incidents. His Conservative colleagues have turned a blind eye to this behaviour and sadly this seems to have spurred him on. When he called female members of the public gallery "old hags" he did not even receive a repremand from the Mayor. In fact most of his colleagues laughed, finding his behaviour highly amusing.
There is only one response to sexism and that is zero tolerence. Violence towards women is cowardly and despicable. Colemans council colleagues cannot bury their heads in the sand. They must send a strong message that they will not tolerate Colemans behaviour or anyone else who behaves in a sexist and misogynist manner. The council should immediately issue a statement disassociating iteself from Colemans behaviour and suspending him from the Council chamber. If this is not constitionally possible, they should issue a motion of censure on his behaviour. It is long overdue.