This rather misses the key point that it isn't about the seating plan. Indeed, the reply rejecting John's kind offer to join the delegation (which already included Cllr Paul Tilsley, lately deputy leader of the City Council from the Lib Dems and Cllr Randall Brew, a senior Tory councillor) didn't say that it did:
"As we only have half an hour, we are having to be extremely firm with numbers"If you only have 30 minutes, then you worry more about being able to fit in all those who wish to speak rather than finding them all seats.
The delegation didn't include Andrew Mitchell or Roger Godsiff either, so John can't feel too left out. He was invited to a pre and post-meeting briefing (he couldn't make the pre-meeting), so won't be out of the loop in terms of discussions. Talking about 'banning' is just exaggeration and scaremongering.
There may also be a cross-party view that the presence of Mr Hemming might not have proved particularly helpful to the aim of the meeting. I couldn't possibly comment on that.
Besides, some of us think that John is already occupying one seat too many and we'd like Birmingham Yardley back.