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Sunday, 15 October 2017

Wrong Report in the Kilburn Times Regarding Bertha Joseph

I have just seen this report in the Kilburn Times about former councillor Bertha Joseph.  At the time of writing, the Kilburn Times states that the allegations against Bertha Joseph were "false".  I imagine the piece is based on a conversation with Bertha herself.  Whilst that may be her memory; the reality is quite different.  

The allegations against were that she diverted donations made to charity to her own use, and failed to report them.  This led the Brent Standards Committee to suspend her for six months, the maximum penalty then available for misconduct by councillors.  This suspension occurred in late 2009, although the breaches occurred in her Mayoral Year some time before.  Bertha Joseph then exercised her right to appeal, which had the effect of the punishment being suspended whilst the legal process ran its course.  As I recall the appeal was not so much against the facts of the case as the harshness of the punishment.  That appeal was dismissed in early 2010 in a judgement that I remarked at the time was extremely strongly worded

Boris Johnson somewhat cynically kept her on the London Fire Authority (LFEPA) so that she could vote through a series of controversial cuts to the London Fire Service.  He widely criticised for this, but he does not appear to have challenged the result of the appeal process.  Indeed, according to the Guardian at the time, his spokesman said that ""Councillor Joseph still disputes the complaint made against her, but the mayor believes the first-tier tribunal made a compelling case against her continuing to serve on the authority. The mayor had allowed Ms Joseph two weeks to make her case to him, in the interests of natural justice and due process."  He then got rid of her, after the crucial budget meeting.

The complaint to the police was made subsequently, and does not relate to the original judgement or the outcome of the appeal.

Bertha Joseph is apparently selected to stand as a Conservative candidate in Brondesbury Park

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