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Gown and out!

PUBLISHED: 11:12 19 March 2010 | UPDATED: 14:57 24 August 2010

Bertha Joseph

Bertha Joseph

The career of a disgraced politician is in tatters after she was forced to quit her role on an influential board yesterday evening. Bertha Joseph stepped down from her position as deputy chairwoman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority after

The career of a disgraced politician is in tatters after she was forced to quit her role on an influential board yesterday evening.

Bertha Joseph stepped down from her position as deputy chairwoman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority after outcries that she was allowed to maintain the role despite her suspension as a councillor.

Ms Joseph was suspended from acting as a Tory councillor in her Kensal Green ward after Brent Council concluded she had spent £900 of charity funds on ball gowns.

She had vehemently denied any wrong doing, and after making an unsuccessful bid to appeal her sentence last month she was banned from carrying out any duties as a councillor until August.

Much to the disgust of union bosses and political opponents - and despite her ban - Ms Joseph was promoted by Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to deputy chairwoman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA), which decides the strategy, policy and the budget of the London Fire Brigade.

After much uproar, Mr Johnson wrote to Ms Joseph giving her two weeks to explain why she should be kept on the board.

Yesterday, the day of the deadline, Ms Joseph handed in her resignation, but not before she voted in a half a billion pound budget for the LFEPA.

In a further twist, Ms Joseph could be hauled before the courts if the police decide she acted criminally when she spent the money destined for two children's charities on her fancy frocks.

Ms Joseph has always maintained her innocence claiming she was the victim of a political attack following her controversial defection to the Tories from the Labour Party in September 2007.

She is no stranger to controversy following an expose by the Times in which this paper revealed she had worn her mayoral chains during an unofficial visit to the Sony World Music Event during her stint as a Labour Mayor in 2006.

The Times also discovered she had received £70 of gifts from Kingsbury Printers and in December 2006 she was given £25 of gifts from Ikea, but neither appeared on Brent Council's gifts and hospitality register.

Ms Joseph claimed she had forgotten to register the gifts.

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