Birmingham councillor Victoria Quinn has been accused of turning up drunk to a public meeting.
Coun Quinn, the girlfriend of city Labour Party leader Sir Albert Bore, was said by fellow councillor Martin Mullaney to have been drunk at a Hall Green constituency meeting on Tuesday night.
The Labour Sparkbrook representative, a Birmingham City Council member for just four months, was also heard to swear by a reporter covering the meeting, which was attended by schoolchildren.
Coun Quinn later apologised for her “entirely inappropriate” behaviour, which she blamed on taking too much medication following the death of her best friend.
But the councillor, who would only discuss the incident by email exchange, failed to respond to messages about Coun Mullaney’s claim that she had been drunk.
Speaking after the meeting, Coun Mullaney (Lib Dem, Moseley and Kings Heath) claimed Coun Quinn had told him he was “full of s***”.
“She was stone drunk, and she shouted out that I was full of s***,” he alleged. “It was outrageous and the audience asked her to leave. It was clear she was drunk.
“She was rambling on about stuff, and to have kids in the audience, what must they have thought? I think it gives a really bad impression to the kids.
“You have someone in a position of responsibility who is swearing and incoherent.
“It was a bad day for local democracy and she needs to rethink her position.
“Once she swore, members of the audience asked her to leave because she was not in a fit state to be there. It was embarrassing.”
On his blog, Coun Mullaney later wrote that the incident was the “most appalling behaviour by a councillor at a council meeting that I have attended in my eight years as a Birmingham councillor”.
Coun Mullaney, who is seeking re-election at the polls in May, added: “I had to leave after the first hour, since the meeting clashed with my monthly comedy club.
“Talking to my fellow councillors at the meeting, they informed me that Coun Quinn’s behaviour became worse, picking on council officers and humiliating them in front of the audience.
“If a member of public had turned up for their job drunk, they would be sacked on the spot. Should we do the same for Coun Quinn?"
Around 30 people – including a handful of school pupils – turned out for the constituency meeting, which discussed issues including the future of Moseley Road Baths and opening hours at Balsall Heath Library.
Ms Quinn later apologised for her behaviour, which she called “entirely inappropriate”, but refused to comment on Coun Mullaney’s claim that she had been drinking.
She said: “I fully appreciate it undermined my role as an elected councillor.
“If I may explain, recently I have been facing some extremely traumatic circumstances. Becoming a councillor brings its own considerably demanding burdens and I have been struggling to balance these new responsibilities.
“In addition, just last week I became obliged to take some time away following the very sudden and tragic loss of my best friend at 38 who has left her two-year-old son orphaned.
“I have been taking medication through this trauma and exceeded the recommended dose before attending the constituency committee.”
Ms Quinn romped to victory in a by-election in Sparkbrook, securing a 1,631 vote majority. The by-election was called following the resignation, due to ill health, of Respect Party leader Salma Yaqoob.
Constituent Lisa Riley said in an email to the Birmingham Labour Group: “She slurred her works and her behaviour was appalling. She was clearly in no fit state to participate and this was also voiced by fellow councillors and the audience.”