The new Lord Mayor of Leicester certainly knows how to make the headlines.
Cllr Colin Hall is a Labour councillor who represents the New Parks ward. He received the chains of office at a Town Hall ceremony on May 27. He was first elected to Leicester City Council in 1991, as councillor for the Belgrave Ward. In 2007 he was elected as one of three councillors for New Parks.
And what skills and improvements can our new Lord Mayor bring to the role?
First of all he decided that he would not attend a cathedral service which traditionally takes place to welcome the Lord Mayor to his new role. A traditional civic service is held every year at Leicester Cathedral but Councillor Colin Hall informed officials he would not take part. The Bishop of Leicester's office said it was unaware of any Lord Mayor declining the invitation in recent years, including Hindus, Sikhs and atheists who all took part.
Cllr Hall had asked for the service to be more inclusive of other faiths, and of humanism; he wanted the Lady Mayoress (Eleanor Davidson, who conducts humanist celebrations) to read a humanist text, and his chaplain (Allan Hayes, president of Leicester's secular society) to give an address. When the bishop asked to see the sermon in advance, the mayor and his sidekicks pulled out.
Clearly tradition means very little to Cllr Hall. After taking office as mayor the Leicester City councillor decided not to continue the tradition of having prayers said before monthly full council meetings. A short prayer, rotating between different faiths, has been said at the meetings since 1997. Mr Hall has previously called the practice "outdated, unnecessary and intrusive".
And only days ago our Lord Mayor, the man chosen to represent the city of Leicester, hit the headlines again and this time he went worldwide!
Carry On Mayor - Leicester leader's trousers fall down (Guardian)
Council fatty's trousers fall down during speech (The Sun)
UK mayor apologies after trousers fall down during library visit (Sydney Morning Herald, Australia)
UK mayor drops pants before kids (The Times Of India)
Mayor's pants fall down in front of kids (IOL South Africa)
UK Mayor Apologizes after Pants Fall Down in Front of Schoolchildren (myfox USA)
Mayor apologises after trousers fall off (Gulf News)
Lord mayor apologizes for tumbling trousers (The Chronicle Herald, Nova Scotia, Canada)
Councillor Colin Hall was at Southfields library in the city to take part in a Global Education function. When he stood to give a vote of thanks at the event his trousers came loose and fell. Mr Hall was a guest at a Summer Showcase organised by Global Education Leicester, a network which works with teachers to promote greater understanding of global perspectives. Pupils from three local schools were present.
One pupil is quoted as saying: "It was like watching something out of a Carry On film. You half expected him to be wearing a big pair of comedy bloomers but as soon as he realised what had happened he pulled his trousers back up."
While another is quoted as commenting: "It was like something from Benny Hill. No-one knew where to look. There were a few laughs from the children, but it was a pretty toe-curling moment. Surely he should've been wearing a belt? It was a pretty basic error. He looked embarrassed and quickly pulled his trousers up, but by then it was too late. The damage was done. It’s not the kind of thing you expect to see happen to a Lord Mayor."
A Lord Mayor who doesn’t even have the skills to do up his trousers properly, just what Leicester needs!
Not only has he made himself a laughing stock but, by association, the office of Lord Mayor and the city of Leicester.
It will come as no surprise to anyone that Cllr Colin Hall, previously High Bailiff Of Leicester, is a signatory on an anti BNP letter published on the website of the Searchlight front organisation Hope not hate. One buffoon amongst many!
What may not be known is that Cllr Hall was forced to apologise by a House of Commons select committee.
“Mr Colin Hall, Chairman of the Leicester East CLP, threatened a witness with possible disciplinary and legal action because of allegations the witness had made to the Commissioner. We took the view that in putting improper pressure on a witness Mr Hall had committed a serious contempt, and asked him to appear before us to explain his actions. Mr Hall apologised unreservedly for any contempt that had been committed and undertook not to commit any further such actions in the future.”
(COMPLAINTS AGAINST MR KEITH VAZ. House of Commons Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Third Report. The published report was ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 9 March 2001.)
Do the people of New Parks really want this person representing them?