BRADFORD Council has apologised after criticism a community and business campaign  failed to represent the district’s ethnic diversity.

The council issued a poster, with the hashtag "Together Bradford Can", to highlight the efforts of locals during the current coronavirus crisis.

But it faced criticism from councillors and individuals who felt it did not represent the city's multicultural makeup.

Campaigner, Aisha Ali-Khan posted on Facebook last night to say: "I don’t understand how, despite Bradford being one of the most multicultural cities in the UK, the Council couldn’t find a single BAME person to ask for their campaign?"

Councillor Ralph Berry (Lab Co-op, Wibsey) responded to the original campaign on Twitter saying: "I think some are missing here."

He also said: "It's really not acceptable".

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, and Chief Executive, Kersten England, apologised in a joint statement this afternoon, with the poster removed from social media channels.

The statement said: “We would like to make a full apology for any distress caused to members of our community following two pieces of communication which were sent out last night to promote a community and a business initiative.

"We acknowledge that the images did not properly represent the full rich ethnic diversity of communities within our great district and we have instructed that they are not used again. 

"While we are working with communities and businesses from all corners of Bradford District to raise awareness of the incredible work, innovation and resilience being shown by people across the district, we understand that these images were misleading and both have been removed immediately.

"We take equality and diversity incredibly seriously, which is why this is so disappointing.

"We will use this as an opportunity to reflect as an organisation on how we are ensuring we live out our commitment to equality and diversity. 

"The priority has to be that we plan for a better future for everyone in the district."