A petition has been launched to try to block a councillor who in 2007 blacked up in fancy dress as former South African leader Nelson Mandela from becoming mayor.

Tara St Clair, who lives in Golders Green, said Conservative Edgware councillor Cllr Brian Gordon – who was elected mayor at a meeting in March – is “not representative of the views and values of Barnet residents”.

She has launched a petition calling on the council to block his official appointment as mayor for the 2020-21 year, which was postponed due to the cancellation of the annual council meeting.

As well as the blackface incident, Ms St Clair says Cllr Gordon has a “controversial track record on a number of topics, including LGBTQ+ education in schools, the role of women and immigration”.

Her petition states: “(Cllr Gordon) must be withdrawn as his values and behaviour are not fitting of a leadership position.

“He is not representative of the views and values of Barnet residents and therefore should not represent us.

“Barnet is a proud multicultural borough and there is no place for intolerance, especially from those who represent us as a community.”

In 2007, Cllr Gordon faced calls to resign after blacking up as Nelson Mandela at a party to celebrate the Jewish festival of Purim. He subsequently apologised for any offence caused and said he had the “utmost respect and admiration” for Mr Mandela.

A spokeswoman for Mr Mandela later commented: “We don’t see any harm in this whatsoever. If it was a fancy-dress party and people were expected to arrive as a character or famous person, we are convinced there was no ill intent behind this.”

Shortly after the incident, the Hendon Times reported that 30 years previously, in 1977, Cllr Gordon told a meeting of Edgware Conservatives that he wanted an end to immigration because he felt that Britain should not be the “dustbin” of the world. He denied any accusation of racism.

In a 2013 article for Jewish News, Cllr Gordon wrote of Jewish feminist ‘Women of the Wall’ protests: “I would hesitate to dignify the Women of the Wall by calling them ‘worshippers’.”

In August last year, The Jewish Chronicle reported that Cllr Gordon urged rabbis to consider public demonstrations to stop religious schools being compelled to teach about same-sex relations.

More recently, the same newspaper reported Cllr Gordon faced criticism for commenting that “religious lives matter” in a letter calling on the Government to reopen places of worship. He denied trivialising the “Black Lives Matter” slogan.

In a subsequent letter to the newspaper, he apologised for any offence caused by the comment and said tolerance and community respect are among Barnet’s “highest priorities”.

A spokesman for the Barnet Conservative Group said: “Cllr Gordon has been a councillor since 1998, and during that time has been an impassioned representative for minorities in his ward and across the borough.

“As such a longstanding councillor, we believe that it was right for council to select him to be mayor for the 2020-21 year.”

The petition, which has more than 130 signatures, is available here: https://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?ID=95