Brent's first African-Carribean Mayor is to defect to the Conservatives later today. Bob Blackman, Conservative Councillor for Brent and Harrow will make a formal announcement later. Labour Councillor Bertha Joseph, who represents Kensal Green was first elected to Brent Council elected in 1986. Cllr Joseph was the borough's first African-Carribean Mayor, holding the post for 12 months in 1998 and 1999. She was also Mayor for 2006/07 during Brent's celebration of the abolition of the slave trade.
UPDATE: Mrs Joseph has issued the following statement:
“I have decided to cross the floor and join the Conservative Group on Brent Council because I became frustrated with the inaction of the Labour Group in Brent. They are not addressing the recent spate of murders and shootings in Kensal Green through a structured intervention programme and through new measures. They have also failed to address the poor representation of BME staff at the highest level of the Council by initiating a positive action programme. I have joined the Conservative Party as I feel that it is the natural thing to do because of David Cameron’s views and attitudes towards youth and crime. During his leadership he has embraced our multicultural society in a way that I have not seen projected by the Labour Party.”