A FORMER Lord Mayor of Bradford has quit both the Council and the Labour Party with immediate effect.

Naveeda Ikram, who had been a councillor for the ward of Little Horton, resigned just a day before she was due to be automatically removed from the Council for failing to attend meetings for six months.

But she said she had been absent from these meetings because she had been suffering from depression.

There will not be a by-election and instead her seat will remain vacant until the local authority elections next spring, when her four-year term was due to end.

Mrs Ikram had been on suspension from the Labour Party since 2015, pending a trial over an allegation of misconduct in a public office. She denies the charge and a trial is due to begin at Leeds Crown Court next week.

Under the Local Government Act 1972, a councillor ceases to be a member of the authority if they fail to attend a Council meeting for six consecutive months, unless the Council accepts a valid reason for their non-attendance.

But in a statement, Mrs Ikram accused officials at Bradford Council of failing in “their duty of care” to her after she had raised concerns about her mental health with them.

She also accused Bradford's Labour Group of a “total disregard of my personal well-being” during her suspension and in particular said Council leader Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe had failed to respond "to any of my communications".

Cllr Hinchcliffe said: “I am very disappointed with the claims Naveeda has made, many of which are simply untrue. It is very sad that her tenure as a councillor has ended in the way it has.

“Before yesterday, Naveeda had not raised the matters she claims with me, nor has she sought any support and assistance from me for the issues she now raises."

A spokesman for Bradford Council added: "The established procedures have been properly followed throughout this case.”

Mrs Ikram was the first British Pakistani woman to be elected to Bradford Council when she won her seat in 2004.

In 2011, she again made history by becoming the first Muslim woman to become a Lord Mayor in the UK, when she took up the chains of office in Bradford.

She said: “I would like to say that I had a great time being a councillor and the Lord Mayor. I met some wonderful people and made amazing acquaintances and friends particularly from my ward Little Horton.

“The feedback I receive from my community is overwhelming and I am grateful for their continued support at this time and in the last 14 years. I am now committed to concentrate on the task ahead and look further to new horizons.”