A FORMER Bradford MP has been re-instated as a member of the Liberal Democrats – almost two years after he was kicked out of the party.

Cllr David Ward lost his seat to the current Bradford East MP Imran Hussain in 2015, but former Leader Tim Farron stopped him from running as a candidate in the snap General Election of June 2017.

He fell out with Mr Farron over allegations of anti-semitism and while he is glad to have got his membership back, he still believes he should never have been forced to step down from running in the election.

When he was sacked, he decided to run as an independent and against Mark Jewell - the Liberal Democrat candidate chose to run in his place.

His membership was initially suspended when he criticised the decision to stop him running and it was cancelled when he decided to run against the party.

The move also saw some of the top team at Bradford Liberal Democrat group suspended after they continued to support his independent campaign.

He claims he does not regret what he did, but admits the party was right to kick him out.

Cllr Ward’s case was heard at an appeal by the Regional Parties Committee in London last week and they decided to approve his membership after initially rejecting it.

“It was wrong of the party to remove me as a Parliamentary candidate in the General Election.

“I still have an issue and they have to decide to look at the original decision to remove me as the party candidate,” he said.

“It was the wrong thing to do and I had the right to stand as a Parliamentary candidate.

“It’s not something that should be stopped from doing in a democracy.

"I don't regret running against the party."

The former Bradford East MP, who became a councillor for Bradford Council in 2016, said his membership was “quite rightly” removed after his antics in 2017, but he continued to support the party after his exit and most recently spent three weeks campaigning for a candidate in a by-election.

“I have never stopped working," he added.

“I have been out for the last two or three weeks trying to get a local Liberal Democrat elected.

"I fully accepted that if I stood as an Independent I cannot be in the party."

Cllr Ward's membership was supported by the Bradford Liberal Democrat group and the Yorkshire group and the national party eventually backed their decision.

"The dispute was never between the Yorkshire region and myself or people in Bradford. They have never stopped supporting me.

"They have kept me going when it was a very difficult time."