A BRADFORD councillor who was the country's first female Muslim lord mayor has been arrested in connection with allegations of perverting the course of justice and misconduct in a public office.

Councillor Naveeda Ikram, a Labour councillor for Little Horton who became the Lord Mayor of Bradford in 2011, was arrested yesterday.

She was questioned by officers in Halifax and has denied the allegations.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman 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 Force declined to give further information on the nature of the alleged "localism offences".

Cllr Ikram was suspended by the Labour Party after allegations of "financial irregularities" first arose in October last year.

Yesterday a spokesman for the Yorkshire and Humber Labour Party confirmed that Cllr Ikram continued to be suspended.

Cllr Ikram said yesterday that she was confident of being exonerated and denied any wrongdoing.

She emphasised that she had not been charged with anything.

The mother-of-three urged people to avoid "unnecessary speculation" on social media.

"This is a very difficult time for myself, my family, friends and children.

"To avoid any prejudice or bias, it would be best to avoid speculation on social media, Twitter and Facebook."

She added: "I will be hopefully exonerated; no, not hopefully - I will be exonerated."

Cllr Ikram said that she had denied the allegations during "3 to 4 hours" of questioning at a police station in Halifax.

Cllr Ikram revealed that in recent months she had been pressing the police to bring their investigation to a conclusion.

"The past four months I have been asking the police to expedite the matter and carry out the investigation as soon as possible. That is what they are doing."

She emphasised that her work as a councillor would continue.

"I want to continue as a committed councillor and to continue with my work."

Cllr Ikram, who was born in Rochdale, was elected to Bradford Council in 2004, representing Little Horton.

She has a psychology degree and has previously worked for Pakistan International Airlines in Bradford.

Cllr Ikram sits on a number of bodies outside Bradford Council, including regeneration organisation Bradford Trident, and previously sat on Bradford College's governing body.

Last year she put herself forward to be Labour's candidate in the Bradford West constituency. The Party later chose Naz Shah, from an all-women shortlist, who went on to be elected as MP.