A legal battle between a Birmingham councillor and his political opponent over an alleged pub brawl was branded an "unseemly row" by a judge yesterday.
Ex-Labour councillor for Aston Tony Kennedy is suing Martin Mullaney, Lib Dem councillor for Moseley and Kings Heath, for damage to reputation.
During a hearing at Birmingham's County Court, Mr Kennedy claimed Mr Mullaney posted "malicious" information against him on a website in the run-up to June's local election.
He said the posting, about a fracas outside the Prince of Wales pub in Moseley which resulted in Mr Kennedy's arrest, was designed to discredit his character.
Two weeks later Mr Kennedy stood for the Perry Barr ward in Birmingham's local election, but was not elected.
District Judge Naish urged the two warring parties to consider seeking mediation to sort out their differences rather than doing it in a public court.
"This is an unseemly row which is not doing anyone any good," he said.
"Rather than having a contested court hearing this could be dealt with by mediation where you can sit down and resolve your issues in private."
The events at the heart of the dispute occurred on May 28 when Mr Kennedy was drinking in the Prince of Wales.
Mr Kennedy got into a dispute with another regular at the pub, Jim Pendleton.
The two were involved in a scuffle on the street. Mr Mullaney found out about the incident and made a posting about it on a chat room about the local community.
The posting said: "It appears the councillor Tony Kennedy will be arrested in the next few days in connection with an assault in the Prince of Wales on Friday night."
Mr Pendleton pressed police charges against Mr Kennedy who was arrested and released on police bail.
Yesterday Mr Kennedy maintained he had been told by police a week ago that all investigations against him had been dropped.
He demanded the city's Lib Dems issued an "immediate retraction".
Mr Kennedy claimed it was not himself, but Mr Pendleton who had acted aggressively and he was now determined to clear the smear upon his reputation.
"The allegation against me is without foundation," he said.
"In public life we have only our good name. I have spent 24 years in public service and I refuse to have my name tarnished by these false attacks."
Mr Mullaney denied he had published any false information about Mr Kennedy.
"As far as I am concerned the case should be dismissed now. He is wasting everyone's time." The case was adjourned to a later date.