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Racist’ claim in political row

PUBLISHED: 18:10 02 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:43 24 August 2010

THE borough s Labour Party has been accused of being racist following the sudden defection of one of their councillors. Cllr Francis Eniola launched a scathing attack on his former party claiming he joined the Tories because Labour ignored black and Asia

THE borough's Labour Party has been accused of being racist following the sudden defection of one of their councillors.

Cllr Francis Eniola launched a scathing attack on his former party claiming he joined the Tories because Labour ignored black and Asian members.

Cllr Eniola, who has represented the Welsh Harp ward since May 2006, also alleges they failed to support his calls for increased transportation for elderly residents and more facilities for youths in the borough.

He told the Times: "I am very unhappy with members of the Labour Party.

"When I joined 15 years ago they listened to ethnic minority members.

"They don't look after black and Asian members, they don't listen anymore, they do what they want to do.

"I can't be with them any more."

Denying claims that he quit the party because he was deselected as a candidate for the forthcoming council elections in May next year, Cllr Eniola said: "I wasn't deselected.

"I didn't go to the second selection after the first selection was a dead heat. It was done in my absence.

"I wanted to leave Labour. I have been thinking it for the past three weeks.

"The Tories will listen, they are prepared to help. I believe they will listen to me.

"My priority is looking after older residents and making sure they have transport. They won't feel abandoned by me."

His decision to quit the Labour Party comes two years after another black councillor also defected to the Tories.

Cllr Bertha Joseph from the Kensal Green ward quit the Labour Party citing that David Cameron was the only person who could change things.

Cllr Ann John, leader of Brent's Labour Party, vehemently denied Cllr Eniola's allegations.

She said: "It is an absolute ludicrous claim that our party is racist.

"Francis did attend the second selection and was deselected. I think he is disappointed and bitter that he wasn't selected.

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