A RAINBOW coalition has taken charge of Burnley Council after ousting Labour's Mark Townsend.

Labour lost its slim majority at the last borough elections - but had made one effort to restore Cllr Townsend to the leadership.

But last night, at an extraordinary full council meeting, Cllr Charlie Briggs, who represents the Burnley and Padiham Independents, has been chosen to lead the authority.

His party has teamed up with the Liberal Democrats, Conservatives, UKIP and The Greens.

For Cllr Briggs it is second stint at the helm, having previously been in charge when he was a Lib Dem member.

Cllr Briggs said: "All I want to do is bring Burnley together and that is what we are trying to do."

He confirmed that Labour was offered three seats on the executive but had declined the proposition.

Cllr Maggie Lishman, a Lib Dem, is his deputy, and former Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle and veteran Conservative councillor Cosima Towneley are also on the executive.

Cllr Townsend, in a social media message, said last night: "This evening Burnley Council decided my time is over as Leader of the Council. The fight back starts tomorrow.

"Thank you to my Labour colleagues who supported me all the way."