A Birmingham city councillor has resigned because he is facing bankruptcy proceedings.
Nahim Khan, a Respect councillor for Sparkbrook, stood down yesterday.
A by-election will be held in the ward, where Respect can expect a tough challenge from Labour.
Mr Khan won the seat in 2008 with 3,032 votes, 43 per cent of the vote, against 2,600 for Labour.
Since 2006, Respect have turned Sparkbrook into a stronghold by winning all three council seats from Labour.
Details of Mr Khan’s financial difficulties were not being released by the Respect party, which described the matter as “personal”.
Under electoral law, councillors who are declared bankrupt cannot serve in public office.
No date for the by-election has been set.
Salma Yaqoob, who is also a Respect councillor for Sparkbrook, said: “Due to personal financial difficulties, Nahim is being subjected to Bankruptcy Restrictions Orders and can no longer continue to serve as a councillor.
“Our thoughts and best wishes are with Nahim and his family in the difficult times they now face.
“I am sorry that the residents of Sparkbrook will have to go back to the polls to elect a new councillor.
“From 2006 they have given their support to the Respect Party in three successive elections.
‘‘We are deeply appreciative of that support and are committed to working hard for the best interests of all the people of Sparkbrook.”
Mr Khan was unavailable for comment.