POLICE are investigating after a former mayor of Keighley had his windows smashed – in an incident he described as an “attack on democracy”.

Fulzar Ahmed claimed that the attack – which happened the night after the local elections – was “politically-motivated”.

Mr Ahmed, who is the secretary of the Keighley Central branch of the Labour party, alleged that the attack was carried out by a “gang of four or five men”.

He claimed that they threw bricks through a number of windows at his family home, while his young children were upstairs sleeping.

Mr Ahmed, who served as Keighley’s Town Mayor for the year 2018-2019, said the attack happened at around 1.30am on May 6.

“To target a family home at night, when kids are inside sleeping, is horrendous”, said Mr Ahmed, who was not home at the time of the attack.

“I think it must have been a group of people, as one individual couldn’t have done that much damage so quickly.

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“As someone who has been involved in politics for a long time and is still active, I think it was definitely politically-motivated.

“Incidents like this will put people off standing for public office and ultimately damage our democracy.

“This is a direct attack on the democratic process and undermines the principles of free speech, democratic engagement and debate.”

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Mr Ahmed has branded the attackers as “thugs” and is calling on the people of Keighley to come together and ensure that similar incidents are not repeated.

“We as a community need to unite and root out these thugs from our vibrant and diverse community”, he said.

“We might have different views, but we should all respect that. To target someone based on their views is totally unacceptable.

“It’s sickening and is a way of intimidating and putting fear into the community.

“I’ve been involved in politics for 12 years and this kind of thing is unheard of. My property has never had CCTV and has never required it.”

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Mr Ahmed (pictured above) said that the people of Keighley have rallied around him following the incident, and he has thanked them for their support.

“I’m really overwhelmed by the visits and phone calls I’ve had from all sectors of the community”, he said.

“I’m really thankful for everyone’s help.”

A West Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: “Police are investigating a report of criminal damage which is said to have occurred in the early hours of 6 May.

“Enquiries are ongoing.”