THE mayor of Blackburn, who stood down and resigned from the Labour Party after being caught breaking lockdown laws has been quietly readmitted and will be standing in the upcoming local elections.
Cllr Iftakhar Hussain resigned after being caught by police attending an address where a wedding celebration was taking place.
The Labour Mayor’s bizarre and unbelievable initial excuse was that he had attended the address after being contacted and asked to come over to ‘open the front door to allow a delivery driver to deliver some food’.
Understandably refusing to buy his story, Police handed £200 fines to nine people, including Mr Hussain, amid claims a wedding was taking place – leading to the Mayor resigning over what he confessed to be a “momentary lapse of judgement”.
A Lancashire Police spokesman confirmed there were reports of up to 30 people attending a ‘wedding’ in Dukes Brow and added: “There they found nine people inside celebrating the wedding, including two residents of the address. Each individual was issued with a £200 fixed penalty notice and was instructed to leave, which they did.”
Cllr Hussain’s resignation came after town hall bosses in Blackburn launched an investigation into the incident.
“Today I am giving this up to protect the reputation of the borough” Hussain said in his resignation statement.
“I hope my actions will serve as a reminder to the people of Blackburn with Darwen of the importance of following the Covid-19 guidelines as it remains a real and serious threat.”
Yet his self-professed desire to protect the reputation of Blackburn council appears to have been short-lived.
Commenting on the scandal, Rick Moore, Deputy chairman of the Blackburn Conservative Association said:
“Cllr Hussain did the honourable thing in standing down as Mayor and suspending himself from the Labour Party pending investigation after breaching Covid restrictions. Now we find out he is back in the Labour Party and standing for re-election.
“What was the result of the investigation and did it even happen? Blackburn has has had significant issues with high case numbers of Covid-19 throughout the pandemic, what message does this send to the people of Blackburn
“When the Labour Party stand a candidate who can’t abide by the very restrictions they have been enforcing and encouraging as Mayor it seems very much a case of do as I say not as I do. Leading by example obviously means nothing to the Labour Party in Blackburn.”