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'Bigot' row Tory finally wins LGA role

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London Assembly member Brian Coleman has succeeded in taking the helm of the LGA’s Fire Services Forum, one year after accusing “homophobic, bigoted old farts” of denying him the opportunity.

Brian Coleman

Cllr Coleman (Con), who is gay and serves on Barnet LBC, launched a tirade in August 2008 against senior members of his own party whom he believed had lobbied against his appointment to the forum.

Now he has been appointed chair of the Local Government Association Fire Services Forum, Fire Service Management Committee and National Joint Council for Local Authority Fire and Rescue Services.

Cllr Coleman said he was delighted with his new roles, which make him local government’s Conservative lead on the issues, in addition to his role as chair of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.

“I look forward to working with fire trade unions and fire authorities in London and across the country,” he said.

“Driving forward the radical modernisation of the fire services is extremely important and is vital to ensure that the public get the very best out of their firefighters.

“After an extremely challenging time with unreconstructed trade unions, I want this to be a fresh start for the political leadership of the fire service.

“I think the service will benefit from a new direction and a final break from the same tired old faces.”

Cllr Coleman told LGC in August 2008: “David Shakespeare said the job was mine but went back on his word after lobbying by a group of homophobic, bigoted old farts.”

There was no suggestion that Cllr Shakespeare shared the “bigoted” views described by Cllr Coleman.

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