The spectre of sleaze returned to haunt Boris Johnson today as the police announced an investigation into another of the Mayor's key aides, Bertha Joseph.
The spectre of sleaze returned to haunt Boris Johnson today as the police announced an investigation into another of the Mayor’s key aides, Bertha Joseph – his personal appointment as deputy chair of the London Fire Authority.
Joseph spent £900 of charitable donations on ball gowns while Mayor of Brent. She has been suspended from Brent Council for six months but Johnson has so far refused to condemn, much less dismiss her.
Today’s Evening Standard reports that:
“A judge said there was ‘more than a possibility’ that she [Joseph] had deprived two children’s charities, the Down’s Syndrome Association and Shooting Star, of extra income by spending the donations of £400 and £500 on dresses.
“A Brent council investigation found that Ms Joseph encouraged two businesses — a butcher and a car dealer — to sponsor the dresses she wore to two mayoral charity balls.
“The judge added that Ms Joseph had shown a ‘repeated lack of credibility’ and that it would be wrong to expect her to serve as a borough mayor again ‘given the disrepute that she has caused to the office’. He ordered her to serve the remainder of her six-month suspension immediately.”
Shadow communities secretary Caroline Spelman has previously praised Joseph as a woman of “total integrity, honesty and courage”, welcoming her into the Tory party after her defection from Labour.
This is just the latest in a series of scandals to rock City Hall since Johnson came to power, and follows allegations against key advisers of racism, expenses swindling and financial misconduct, which Left Foot Forward has explored previously.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.