BY Alison Bellamy
THE UK’s first ever female Muslim Lord Mayor has been arrested by police, over allegations of misconduct in a public office.
Councillor Naveeda Ikram, 42, a former Lord Mayor of Bradford and Labour Party stalwart, was arrested yesterday (Thursday) and bailed by West Yorkshire Police.
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: “A 42-year-old woman from Bradford was arrested yesterday in connection with allegations of misconduct in a public office, localism offences and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
“She has since been bailed pending further enquiries.”
The Asian Sunday understands that Mrs Ikram, who is a Labour councillor for Little Horton in Bradford, who served as the Lord Mayor of Bradford in 2011-12, was yesterday arrested at her Bradford home.
A spokesman for the Yorkshire and Humber Labour Party said today (Friday) that they would not be issuing a statement at this stage, but that her suspension from last year, still stands.
Last October, when West Yorkshire Police began looking into a complaint received in connection to this inquiry, Mrs Ikram was suspended from the Labour Party pending an investigation.
She missed out on becoming Labour’s candidate to stand against George Galloway in the Bradford West constituency in the general election 2015.
Ms Ikram was the first woman of Pakistani origin to become a councillor in Bradford after her election in 2004. She was involved in a row within the Labour Party last year after going to police over claims that she was ‘smeared’ on social media by a troll who suggested that she had racist and sectarian views.
That argument came after she lost out in the selection process for the Bradford West parliamentary seat to Amina Ali, from London, who stepped down 72 hours later for family reasons.
Ms Ikram said at the time that comments on social media, where she appeared to insult Ms Ali’s Somali background, were made on a fake profile and circulated “to bring me down”.
Naz Shah was eventually selected as Labour’s candidate for the seat and went on to defeat Mr Galloway, the Respect MP, in the May 2015 election.
Last October Mrs Ikram said: “I’m not the first person to be suspended from the Labour Party and I will not be the last. I have never had any concerns or anything to do with another political party and I wouldn’t leave Labour for anything.
“This is nothing to do with me having been the Lord Mayor. It isn’t right for anyone to bring that into it because it brings disrepute to the office. What I can say is that I am very confident that I will be exonerated from this.”
Asian Sunday has contacted Mrs Ikram for a comment, but she had not replied at the time of publishing.