TWO leading politicians have called for an inquiry into the appointment of a former deputy director of children's social care at Bradford Council who was later sentenced on drugs charges.

Last week, the former deputy director of children's social care, Irfan Alam, received a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to possession and supply of a Class A controlled drug – methylamphetamine, known as crystal meth.

Bradford Crown Court was told that Alam, 42, of Seven Trees Avenue, Blackburn, was arrested at his home on October 23, 2021, on unrelated matters.

Prosecutor Verity Barnes said a quantity of crystal meth was discovered and messages on Alam’s mobile phone demonstrated he was offering to supply drugs on a social basis to acquaintances.

The court was told Alam had no previous convictions but after the case, both Robbie Moore, MP for Keighley and Ilkley, and Cllr Jeanette Sunderland (Lib Dem, Idle and Thackley) called for an enquiry and full transparency from the council around the hiring process.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Robbie Moore MPRobbie Moore MP

Mr Moore said: “It is shocking to think that this individual - who was in charge of keeping our children safe - was making key decisions at Bradford Council about Children’s Services as the service area fell rapidly into decline.

“In my view, Bradford Council leaders owe the public a full explanation as to how and why this individual was selected as Deputy Director of Bradford Children’s Social Care at such a critical time."

Cllr Sunderland (Lib Dem, Idle and Thackley) said: “There needs to be a proper enquiry into the circumstances of his appointment.

“I know the Council had difficulty recruiting for this position. They didn’t get many applicants because Children’s Services was in a bad way.

“He was very inexperienced at a time when Children’s Services was judged to be ‘inadequate’.

“We need to look at the practices and processes of the Council. Were they all followed?

“Once he was employed, were there any red flags or signals?”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Councillor Jeanette SunderlandCouncillor Jeanette Sunderland

“I also want to know about the ‘unrelated matters’ on why police were searching the home of the deputy director of Children’s Services, a person who was responsible for Bradford’s most vulnerable people?

“I genuinely do believe there needs to be a review of how he got there.”

A spokesperson for Bradford Council said: “The Council was shocked when this case came to light and we acted promptly, supporting the police with their investigation.

“We cannot talk about individual former employees but we can confirm that thorough background checks were carried out when this individual was appointed and no convictions or concerns arose from those checks.”