A COUNCILLOR who was suspended from Brent Council for failing to declare gifts on time will be standing as an independent candidate in the local elections next month.
Bertha Joseph lost her appeal against a six-month suspension from the local authority over claims she did not declare using sponsorship money to buy two ball gowns worth £900.
But the former mayor, who controversially left the Labour group in 2007 and joined the Tories, is fighting back and says it is now up to the people of Kensal Green, the ward where she will be standing, to decide.
She said: "I believe the Labour Party has no solid policy to fight the Conservatives and have therefore used me as a buffer.
"I have removed myself from that position as all I have ever wanted to do is to serve my constituents in Kensal Green.
"The mud slinging is not for me. I prefer action and results for my residents. This is what I have done for the past 24 years. I shall therefore stand as an independent candidate in the forthcoming election."
This month the police decided there was no evidence to investigate Ms Joseph regarding the ball gowns.
Originally from Dominica and now living in Kensal Green, Ms Joseph was elected as a Labour councillor for Church End in 1986. In 1998 she became Brent's first African-Caribbean mayor and then served a second term as mayor in 2006.
She said: "I am prepared to stand on my record as a councillor who has always been there for residents.
"I am not interested in gutter politics and point scoring. I prefer to
spend my time doing what my residents elected me to do.
"I will leave the fighting to others, while I get on with the job.
"It is now up to the residents of Kensal Green, the people whom I've served to decide.
"I do hope that David Cameron is elected as Prime Minister.
"I truly believe that the people of this country deserve much better."