AN independent candidate who had been due to contest the Bradford West seat in next month’s General Election has announced he is stepping down.

Muhammad Hijazi has pledged his support to fellow independent candidate Salma Yaqoob, following in the footsteps of former Lord Mayor of Bradford and current Keighley councillor Khadim Hussain, who took the same step earlier this month.

Mr Hijazi said: “After many meetings with my team, supporters, and community leaders I have come to a decision that I will no longer stand in this election.

“The reason is because I would like to support Salma Yaqoob as we both have similar aims and goals for Bradford West.

“I can believe and say that Salma Yaqoob has a strong voice and will change Bradford West for the best. I will continue my campaign, not for myself but for Salma Yaqoob, and I would like all my supporters to vote Salma. I would like to thank all my supporters who worked day and night for my campaign.”