A British-Pakistani local councillor who became Britain’s first female Muslim Lord Mayor has been suspended following allegations she was involved in “financial irregularities”.
Bradford Labour Party councillor Naveeda Ikram was suspended by the party after she was reported to police in West Yorkshire.
In a statement, the force said: “We can confirm we have received a report of alleged financial irregularities. Enquiries are at a very early stage and are ongoing.”
Speaking to a local newspaper, Ms Ikram said the suspension was an “administrative” measure.
“An allegation has been made against me and it’s completely just down to normal procedures, that if an allegation is made against a councillor, they are suspended”, she said.
“The allegation was not connected to my role as a councillor and the suspension is ‘administrative’ by the Labour Party. I am completely confident I will be exonerated completely. The matter of my suspension was confidential and should never have been made public at this stage”, she added.
While the Labour Party has not officially confirmed the suspension it’s believed news of the move was leaked to local newspapers by one of the party’s regional offices.
Ms Ikram became the UK’s first female Muslim Lord Mayor in 2011. She was also the first woman of Pakistani origin to become a councillor in Bradford, which is home to a large Pakistani community.
Earlier this year, she became embroiled in an online smear campaign and accused her opponents of “impersonating” her on Social media and suggesting that she had racist or sectarian views.
Her father migrated to Britain from the Punjab in the 1960’s, initially working for Cadbury’s chocolates before moving into banking.
The family settled in the town of Little Horton in Bradford, which Mrs Ikram has represented since 2004.
Indian-born Manjula Sood became Britain’s first Asian woman Lord Mayor in Leicester in 2008, while Councillor Asad Omar became Britain’s first Muslim Mayor when he took the office in Harrow last year.