Birmingham’s housing boss threatened to set his dogs on protesters if they carry out their threat to stage a rooftop demonstration at his home.
Coun John Lines made the remark after the council’s monthly meeting was halted following outbursts from the public gallery.
Campaigner Steve Austin and a colleague from the Justice Not Crisis group tried to shout down the Conservative cabinet member for housing as he attacked their high-profile squatting protest at Balsall Heath.
The group are occupying land and demanding meetings with Coun Lines over a £100 million Government grant for affordable housing, which they say is not being claimed by the city council.
The row escalated into a shouting match as the Lord Mayor Coun Chauhdry Rashid tried unsuccessfully to restore order. He eventually suspended the meeting for 10 minutes while security guards escorted the protesters from the chamber.
When the meeting resumed Coun Lines said: “ I welcome mature, sensible debate on housing, but this is unlikely from the puerile and infantile behaviour we have witnessed. It’s not big and it’s not clever. And it has been alleged they are planning to storm the roof of my house. If they do I will protect my home, my property and my family and they had better hope my dogs see them before I do. The group concerned are a small number of anarchists, dissidents, militants and itinerants who do not appear to be involved in any meaningful employment.”
The outspoken Tory cabinet member went on to defend his record on providing council homes and the council’s partnership with Housing Associations and social landlords – and claimed great strides had been taken since he took over the housing department from Labour predecessors.