Westminster councillor forced to apologise for swearing at meeting

By Adrian Zorzut, Local Democracy Reporter

A councillor has been forced to apologise after being caught swearing during a heated meeting.

Westminster city council’s Paul Dimoldenberg accused the Tory opposition of “not telling the truth” about the Labour council’s track record on tackling e-bikes cluttering paths.

Little Venice councillor and former Westminster City cabinet member Melvyn Caplan accused Labour of “prevaricating” on plans for more bike parking bays. But Mr Dimoldenberg hit back, saying: “That’s s***”.

Cllr Caplan said: “I remember, when I was the cabinet member 18 months ago or so, that we had the solution then as to what we wanted to do in regards to the parking of e-bikes.

“You know, because I’ve asked you this at policy and scrutiny several times, that I think that you’ve been very slow in bringing forward debate with the operations.

“We all know it’s a problem. We see it all the time. I saw an e-bike literally outside the steps of this building.

“We recognise what the problem is but what we’ve got to do is look at what is in our power as a council to bring forward.”

The Tory councillor praised Labour-run Camden for successfully dealing with e-bikes dumped on the pavement.

Cllr Caplan responded: “It may be a Labour council, but it had a solution, which, I’m not saying we were going to copy, but they had a solution that could have been there and used in Westminster a long time ago.

“To use the phrase, there was a oven-ready solution the day you entered office as a cabinet member.”

Cllr Dimoldenberg shot back, saying the Tory councillor was talking “nonsense,” before later shouting “that’s s***”. Councillors gasped and the room fell silent.

The Labour member admitted to swearing and said it had been targeted at Cllr Caplan before going on to apologise.

He said: “I would like to apologise. In the heat of the moment I said something I shouldn’t have, but at the same time he shouldn’t tell things that aren’t true.”

Labour said it was working to cut deals with e-bike operators to provide more parking spots in the borough.

Pictured top: Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg apologised for swearing during a heated council meeting (Picture: Westminster city council)

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