A disgraced Bradford councillor who admitted animal cruelty charges has resigned.

Independent Councillor Robert Payne, who represented Keighley West, was remanded in custody last month after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to four cats which resulted in their deaths.

A Council spokesman confirmed the authority had received and accepted Payne’s written resignation yesterday.

Payne’s latest court appearance followed an earlier conviction in June for fraud involving an accountancy firm he ran.

Council leader Ian Greenwood, who led calls for the shamed councillor to quit after he admitted animal cruelty charges last month, welcomed the news of his resignation.

“It is clearly right that he has resigned,” said Coun Greenwood. “He should have resigned months ago when he was convicted of fraud. It was an outrage that he stayed on.

“Clearly the most recent events are appalling and as soon as they became public he should have resigned. The Council is well rid of him. I hope the law acts with full force to punish his appalling actions.”

There are less than six months of Payne’s term as a councillor remaining. His seat will now remain vacant until the Council elections next May.

Keighley West ward Councillor Keith Dredge (Lab) said: “I welcome his resignation. I hope now we can close this chapter and move on to the next phase.

Payne was first elected as a Conservative councillor.

Tory group leader, Councillor Glen Miller, said: “I think it is the responsible thing to do because he is not there to represent his constituents. At long last he has done the honourable thing. It is just a shame it has taken him so long. Hopefully the district can go forward now and we look forward to fighting an election next year.”

Councillor Riaz Ahmed, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said: “Elected members should lead by example. The public expect councillors to behave in a respectable manner.”