The controversial taxi bill amassed by London Assembly member Brian Coleman over the past two years has prompted calls for a revision of rules governing members' expenses.

At the first meeting of the London Assembly audit panel since the May elections, members called Mr Coleman's expense claim "staggering" and "unreasonable", and called for the rules to be tightened.

Mr Coleman, London Assembly member for Barnet and Camden, claimed £10,334 in taxi expenses between April 2006 and March 2007, and a further £8,231 this year, despite having a free six-zone Travelcard.

The bills were almost as large as all of the other 24 members of the assembly put together, and last year included a taxi bill of £656 in just one day.

Speaking at the panel meeting on July 17, Assembly member Navin Shah said: "I can endorse this review because frankly this is not the first time this has happened.

"We all know the member in question, and though this is not personal, at the same time, without having a clear policy of criteria, any system which hasn't got checks and balances is open to abuse.

"No member has any authority or reason to abuse the tax payer's money in this way. It's not reasonable and it's not fair."

Liberal Democrat member Caroline Pidgeon said she "couldn't see how some members can claim thousands and thousands of pounds of public money and others virtually nothing".

She added: "I find it quite staggering, some of the taxi costs. I'm not going to name any names, but one member has spent nearly half the budget on taxis.

"I feel we need to review the rules to make it clear what is appropriate and what isn't."

BNP assembly member Richard Barnbrook also had strong words to say on the matter, saying Mr Coleman's expense account "paints the assembly in a bad light".

"I think good practice needs to be laid down quite firmly," he said. "My understanding when I came in was that the taxi card was only to be used in an emergency, when you finish a meeting late and there is no sufficient public transport to get you from A to B or back home.

"We can't have members being brought into disrepute, with papers making statements about the abuse of council tax money."

Mr Coleman was unavailable for comment.