‘An amazing legacy of service’: Nadhim Zahawi pays tribute to former Barnet Mayor Melvin Cohen

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‘An amazing legacy of service’: Nadhim Zahawi pays tribute to former Barnet Mayor Melvin Cohen

Conservative Party chairman adds his voice to condolences from across the political spectrum

Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist

Cllr Melvin Cohen
Cllr Melvin Cohen

Conservative Party Chairman Nadhim Zahawi has added his voice to the growing tributes to two-time mayor of Barnet Melvin Cohen.

The councillor who represented Golders Green ward for a record 40 years passed away suddenly this month. he had been the borough’s longest-serving elected    representative.

Speaking on behalf of the party he represented all that time,  Nadhim Zahawi MP said: “I know that the thoughts of the whole Conservative family are united in sharing their condolences with Councillor Cohen’s family. But what an amazing legacy of service he leaves! We are struggling to find an example of a longer length of continual service to one area anywhere in the country. Melvin’s constituents, his friends and his family have been incredibly lucky to have known him and he will be so missed.”

Melvin Cohen with the Duke of Kent during a visit to Barnet in 2004

Councillor Cohen’s long service was also hailed by the London Mayors’ Association, of which he was an active member. He had been a councillor for the Golders Green ward in Barnet since 1982, and spent two separate terms as the borough’s mayor, in 2003/4 and again 10 years later in 2013/14.

But there was admiration from elsewhere on the political spectrum too. Labour parliamentary candidate David Pinto-Duschinsky called Councillor Cohen “a dedicated public servant” and said his death was sad news for the borough.

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