Highly controversial Conservative London Assembly Member Brian Coleman is in the news again, though this time it’s not for an outrageous expense claim or the like.
The Barnet Standards Board has ruled that he broke the rules for sending an email that called the blogger Roger Tichbourne “an obsessive, poisonous individual”.
I’m not exactly overjoyed at the outcome.
Yes, Brian Coleman has once again behaved stupidly. Yes, he deserves criticism. But should such matters really be up for standards boards to rule on? I don’t think so.
Let the actions of politicians be public and then let the voters or (if it’s a matter of the law) the police decide. There’s also libel law and a special legal provision against false statements about election candidates. This case does nothing to convince me that we need something beyond that to judge on whether a politician’s words are appropriate.