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LANDLORD Geoffrey Berg’s campaign to force Mayoral elections in Burnley and Blackburn with Darwen has been raised in Parliament.

The Prestwich resident has required Burnley to hold a referendum over the change on May 4 and pledged to a second petition to do the same in Blackburn with Darwen because of his opposition to the councils’ plans for landlord licensing schemes.

Burnley MP Julie Cooper has asked Leader of the Commons David Lidington: “Are you aware that the mechanism to introduce an elected mayor is open to abuse?

“In my constituency an outsider has peddled a petition that makes unfounded claims.

“The misleading petition has placed a duty on Burnley Borough Council to hold a costly referendum.”

Mr Lidington replied: “I cannot offer an immediate debate in Government time.”