Indian-origin councillor becomes first woman Asian mayor in Britain

London (IANS): An Indian-origin woman has been elected mayor of the Ealing Council in the west London suburban district, becoming the first Asian woman to be so elected.

Councillor Harbhajan Kaur Dheer, 62, who succeeded councillor Tej Ram Bagha on Tuesday at the Annual Council Meeting, belongs to Britain’s Labour party.

Ealing has 69 councillors and is Labour controlled. There are 53 Labour councillors, 12 Conservative, four Liberal Democrat.

Born in India in 1953, Dheer came to Britain in 1975. She studied social work at Kingston University and obtained a degree in 1995. She worked in Surrey county council as an approved mental health professional until 2013, the council’s website said.

Dheer was elected a Labour councillor from the Greenford Broadway ward in 2010 for the first time. She has chaired two scrutiny panels during her first term as a councillor. After elections in 2014 she was appointed deputy mayor of the borough.

The council describes her as “passionate about the rights of children and the elderly including those with mental health problems”.