Friday, 12 December 2008

Featherstone and the fire brigade

. Lynne Featherstone rightly earned alot of cross-party praise for her stance over the Baby P case so I was a little surprised to read this in the Daily Telegraph;

Brian Coleman, the Conservative chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, laughed off accusations that his attack on Lynne Featherstone was sexist - by remarking that a man was unlikely to have acted in the same way.

Mr Coleman, a Tory member of the London Assembly, accused the Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green in north London of wasting valuable resources and demanded that she pay for the call out.

He went on to liken the politician to those who call out the emergency services to rescue cats stuck in trees.

The row broke out after Miss Featherstone wrote an entry on her internet blog thanking local firemen for coming to her aid last month when the boiler in her basement began making an unexpected banging sound, causing the floor to vibrate.

She told how she dialled 999 and ran out of the house, accompanied by her two daughters and dog, fearing that there would be an explosion.

But the sound stopped when the heating and water supply were switched off.

It eventually transpired that it been caused by an airlock in the boiler which was rectified the following day.

Mr Coleman accused the MP of using the fire brigade as her personal heating engineers.

"You don't call the fire brigade - you switch your boiler off and call a plumber the next day," he said.

"It costs £250 per hour for a call out and I look forward to receiving a cheque from Lynne Featherstone.

"She has shown herself to be completely dizzy... she advertised the fact she is dizzy on her blog, which is even more stupid.

"Airheads and airlocks are obviously not unrelated. She can't tell the difference between an airlock and a major catastrophe."

Miss Featherstone said she was furious at Mr Coleman's remarks and said he should "consider his position".

Coleman conceded that his comments were 'political' which kind of says it all really...


Recently retired Watch Manager said...

Many calls recieved by the London Fire Brigade are false alarms, it is the nature of the job. As long as the individual making the call at the time was genuine, (it appears that Mrs Featherstone was) the London Fire Brigade will happily attend. Any one whom has met Mr Coleman will know that he consistantly chases publicity through being controversial. I have had the misfortune to meet him on several occasions.

Darrell G said...


Thanks for that; it's always nice to have a bit of first-hand perspective. Having read the story I can understand what looks like an overreaction in hindsight being made in the heat of the moment. Mr Coleman is obviously trying to score cheap political points and his remarks can be treated with the contempt they deserve...:)

Jennie said...

Paying the sexist Tory twunt attention will only encourage him, you know

Darrell G said...


On the other hand the very first comment on this blog was from somebody who knew Mr Coleman professionally and whose opinion does more to discredit him than me hurling all the invective under the sun or even ignoring him could ever do; so swings and roundabouts really :)

Joe Taylor said...

Coleman should either apologise or resign, in my opinion.

He has decided to turn a frightening personal experience into a political point - whereas in fact Lynne Featherstone was following official Fire Brigade advice.


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

Brian Coleman (aka Mr Toad) has got to go:



Darrell G said...


I tend to agree with you; he's clearly a grandstanding self-publicist who isn't even effective in his role...thanks for the link Brian Coleman :)