A former staff member for Richard Barnbrook, the BNP’s former London leader and London Assembly member, says she has reported him to the GLA’s standards watchdog for his “unreasonable” and “bullying” behaviour towards her.
Tess Culnane, the “Nazi Granny” who was the BNP candidate for mayor of Lewisham this year, tells me she has made an official complaint to the City Hall standards officer, Ed Williams, calling for Mr Barnbrook’s suspension.
She says: “Richard Barnbrook failed to respond to requests for help from members of the public. When I did tell him about people who had come forward, he very often adopted a resentful manner towards me and threatened me with dismissal.
“His continual bullying manner and threats to sack me became intolerable. He would fall into a strop. He would make faces behind our backs when we were talking. He was a total embarrassment to those of us in his office.”
Mrs Culnane also says that Mr Barnbrook took out his anger on other members of his office, including another staffer, Emma Colgate. “She was forced to resign due to Richard’s perpetual hectoring manner,” she said. “At one point he followed her into the ladies’ toilet hectoring her.” Mrs Culnane says her complaint also alleges that Mr Barnbrook has been drunk during Mayor’s Questions.
Mr Barnbrook didn’t return repeated calls and text messages today to answer these allegations. They should be seen, of course, in the context of the fact that he has been in dispute with the BNP for some time. There may be an element of revenge here.
He resigned the BNP whip on the Assembly last month after the re-election of Nick Griffin as leader. Yesterday, he was thrown out of the party. He was also sacked as the BNP’s Barking and Dagenham organiser after the racists lost all their seats – his included – on the local council in the May elections.
A spokesman for the London Assembly said the procedure with complaints was for a sub-committee to decide whether they had enough merit to be considered by the full standards committee. Until then, he said, he could not confirm or deny whether any complaint had been received.