Monday, 13 July 2009

Brian Coleman takes a hamper and breaks the law

The London Fire Authority have awarded a £12 million contract to a company that lavished hospitality on it's Chairman Brian Coleman.

Asset Co and it's chief Executive Mr. John Shannon took Brian Coleman to dinner on three separate occasions.

On a fourth occasion, Brian Coleman accepted a Harvey and Nichols hamper from Mr Shannon at an estimated value of £350.

The relationship between Coleman and Mr Shannon only came to light because of a Freedom of Information request placed by this blog earlier this year.

Unlike the London Assembly, the Gifts and Hospitality registers for members of LFEPA are not available online.

The Asset Co contract is for a force of reserve firefighters, to be used in the case of industrial action and major incidents.

Members of the authority say that the contract was awarded on a purely competitive basis, and that Asset Co were agreed upon on a cross-party basis.

However, London's Fire Brigade union are not convinced.

A spokesperson for LFBU said earlier today:

"AssetCo’s wining and dining tactics might appear to have paid dividends for them, but I have no doubt that many of the volunteers, being ex-firefighters themselves, will re- fuse to participate when they realise how they will be used."

Unlawful and Undemocratic

The actions of Brian Coleman during a recent Fire Authority meeting were unlawful according to legal papers provided to this blog.

Coleman's decision to block a democratic amendment was "a breach of the law" and could leave the authority open to judicial review, according to legal advice.

The amendment which called for a vote on the appointment procedure for the new Deputy Commissioner, was blocked by Brian Coleman.

However, his unilateral decision complied neither with the authority's standing orders nor with the law.

As John Cavanagh QC puts it in his advice to the authority:

"Needless to say, a Chairman is not permitted to refuse to let an amendment go forward solely because he does not agree with the merits of the proposal..."

Unfortunately nothing is ever 'needless to say' where Brian Coleman is concerned.

11 comments:

Brian Coleman aka Mr Toad has GOT to go said...

With this, on top of his misconduct hearing on Thursday
- how much scandal can his political life stand?

Shut the door on your way out please Mr Toad.

AdamB said...

Ah yes, how could I forget?

Anonymous said...

Pride always comes before a fall.

Rog T said...

Brian Coleman isn't the problem. The problem is the people who won't sack him, because it's perfectly clear he ain't going willingly.

How bad do you have to be before Boris sacks you?

AdamB said...

I think Coleman realises that Boris will not willingly lose yet another appointment.

What Boris doesn't realise is that in the long term it is more damaging for him to keep him on thaqn to ditch him now.

It's certainly more damaging for London.

Anonymous said...

I thought Boris was in trouble today when I saw the Standard. Air conditioned trains and the Fantasy Island airport - both wheeled out on the same day. I think tomorrow we're probably due a nice 'look, over there, it's Ken' story.

AdamB said...

Air conditioned trains again? Really? Blimey, you could make more than enough fans to keep London cool with copies of that press release

Harold said...

Maybe Mr Coleman treated all the tenderers equally. Maybe he wined and dine with all of them and maybe they all gave him a hamper in the interests of fairness?

Don't Call Me Dave said...

How much more of this man do we have to take?

Anonymous said...

The FBU are a quite hardened and rebellious lot, and in the past have been known to literally chuck people who upset them too much into the river Thames.

It is highly likely that aka toad may very well get a dunking before too long.

Brian Coleman aka Mr Toad has GOT to go said...

I certainly hope one of them takes a camera Anonymous.

More on Coleman's whining and dining here