ONE of the two 'trailblazers' embroiled in controversy over Labour party selection procedures in Blackburn is said to have withdrawn.

Cllr Saima Afzal, who represents Blackburn Central ward, will now not be contesting the seat at the May elections.

Her place has been taken by Samim Desai, Blackburn Labour Party has confirmed.

But Cllr Maryam Batan, who represents Queen's Park and Audley, has been reselected as a candidate.

The Lancashire Telegraph reported on Friday how the selection for their two seats was being rerun, amid claims the 'independent-minded' pair of councillors had been ousted for being too outspoken.

Cllr Zamir Khan, party chairman, denied he had done anything wrong.

Cllr Phil Riley said after the reruns: "We are sorry to lose Saima as a candidate and hope that she will continue to remain a presence in the Blackburn Labour family.

"And we welcome Samim and are sure she will make a very good candidate for the council."

Last night Cllr Afal declined to comment on the rerun but is understood she remains unhappy about the outcome.

Conservative opponents in Blackburn have labelled the affair "shameful".