FORMER Respect leader Salma Yaqoob has said she is standing for election in Bradford West in a bid to reverse its “years of neglect”.

Ms Yaqoob, who was born in Bradford but lives in Birmingham, yesterday released a statement, saying: “Bradford West is at a critical juncture at which it faces a choice between more of the same or lasting and positive change.

“For too long, the constituency has been let down by Tory and Labour party neglect. Residents are fed up with the complacency of the local political establishment.

“For years, education and training has been left to deteriorate. Unemployment is high and local businesses struggle to recruit talent. This is a fundamental failing of those in power who have allowed Bradford West to be left behind. This must be corrected.”

Ms Yaqoob quit Respect in 2012 after distancing herself from controversial comments made by party colleague George Galloway about rape.

She will enter an eight-way fight for the seat, currently held by Labour’s Naz Shah, who ousted Mr Galloway as MP in 2015.