THE Deputy Lord Mayor of Oxford has been suspended by the Labour Party after he was given an order for domestic violence.

Sajjad Malik, who has been a city councillor since 2004, was given a 28-day domestic violence protection order (DVPO) at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

The city council’s leader Susan Brown said she was ‘shocked and disappointed’ by his court appearance.

Her party has suspended Malik indefinitely, but he will sit as an independent councillor for the time being.

READ MORE: Deputy Lord Mayor Sajjad Malik suspended 

Malik has been Deputy Lord Mayor since last May, serving under current Lord Mayor Colin Cook. It is understood Mr Cook will now be undertaking all official duties.

Taxi driver Malik, who represents Cowley Marsh, was first elected as a Liberal Democrat councillor. He defected to the Labour Party in 2006. He also served as the city council’s sheriff in 2015/16.

Ms Brown said: “Any allegation of domestic abuse must be taken seriously. The Labour Party has a proud history of standing up for victims of domestic abuse.

“As soon as I and senior colleagues became aware of the court hearing, we informed the Labour Party, who moved quickly to suspend him.

“Clearly, I and my colleagues are shocked and disappointed to learn about the hearing and the circumstances that led to it. We will now await the outcome of all the relevant investigations.”

Malik took part in an official trip to Wroclaw in Poland as Deputy Lord Mayor last October. It is set to be confirmed as a new twin city for Oxford this week.

READ AGAIN: New twinning deal with Polish city Wroclaw officially agreed

The police and courts were asked to provide more information into the circumstances of Malik’s order but were unable to.

DVPOs are used to act ‘instantly to safeguard families they consider to be under threat from perpetrators of domestic abuse’, according to police.

They are served by police where they ‘reasonably believe’ a person ‘has been violent or has threatened violence’ against a person or people.

The city council will not take any immediate action against Malik.

The next full council meeting is due to be held on April 29, by which time Malik will have just a fortnight left to serve as Deputy Lord Mayor.

A city council spokesman said it is ‘a matter for the council to decide’ whether Malik will be stripped of his role on April 29.

But under the Localism Act 2011, a councillor would need to be acting in an official capacity to be sanctioned by their authority.

This was the case with current Labour councillor Ben Lloyd-Shogbesan, who was suspended last May when ‘abhorrent’ posts he shared on Facebook were uncovered.

READ AGAIN: Councillor back in Labour group after offensive posts

Mr Lloyd-Shogbesan, who represents Lye Valley, was cleared by the council in September because he used the Facebook page – which he deleted when the posts were uncovered – in his private life and not in an official capacity.

He was initially suspended by Labour but has since been readmitted to the party’s city council group.