A FORMER Bradford Lord Mayor has told of her “two years of living hell” after being acquitted of wrongdoing while in office and has vowed to fight for justice.

Naveeda Ikram was accused of seeking care contracts for a company known as Nexus Assist and failing to declare an interest in the firm while an elected member of Bradford Council.

She continued to deny the single charge, alleged to have taken place between November 1, 2014, and August 31, 2015, through a trial at Leeds Crown Court last year.

When the case was thrown out by Judge Geoffrey Marson QC the prosecution challenged his decision at the Court of Appeal in London.

This too was thrown out at a hearing on February 21 and yesterday a judgement was made by Lord Justice Treacy that Mrs Ikram be exonerated.

A spokesman from HM Courts & Tribunals Service confirmed that “the ruling was confirmed and ordered that the defendant be acquitted of the offences”.

Speaking after the hearing, Mrs Ikram told the Telegraph & Argus of her relief on being cleared of the charge: “I was put through a living hell for over two years for no reason at all.

“I have no issue with someone wishing to make a complaint, but it should have been dealt with by the standards committee. Instead it was taken through the courts and will have wasted hundreds of thousands of pounds of tax payers’ money.

"I was alienated by the Labour and regional party, I was suspended and driven to resign. The Little Horton selections were orchestrated in such a way so I could not stand as a candidate for the party in 2018.

“I was treated as a convict before my innocence could be proved.

"I have served this district, its residents and constituents of Little Horton with immense pride and commitment. As the Lord Mayor I took my role very seriously. For over 13 years as an elected member I had never been once been disciplined or called for an investigation and all of a sudden my name was tarnished."

Mrs Ikram resigned from the party last November, just a day before she would be automatically removed from the Council for failing to attend meetings for six months.

The President of the Pakistan Society of West Yorkshire Asghar Choudhry said: “We are extremely delighted with the outcome of the court's decision. Naveeda was the first British Pakistani female councillor of Bradford, elected in 2004, and the first British Pakistani female Lord Mayor of Bradford making history in the UK. We are all proud of her achievements and her service to our community.

"Her reputation has been fortunately reinstated but it is a disgrace how her name was tarnished and I condemn the process of how Naveeda, a leading public figure and of high community standing, was dragged and treated throughout this turmoil.

"I hope she and her family can take a sigh of relief after the long haul period of challenges, apprehensions and anxieties.

"Naveeda has no doubt been strong in the process and I am sure she will continue to lead the way. As the British Pakistani society we continue to support her.”

Mrs Ikram said: “I am now going to fight for justice, for the lies spoken about me and the way I have suffered to clear my name.”

A spokesman for the Labour Party said because Mrs Ikram was no longer a member they would not be able to comment.