A BOROUGH boss has been ousted as Labour candidate for the area he has represented for 16 years in next year’s Lancashire County Council elections.

Cllr Miles Parkinson will also lose his job as vice-chairman of the Lancashire Combined Fire Authority after the all-out election in May 2021.

Hyndburn Council leader Miles Parkinson was replaced as the party’s candidate for Great Harwood, Rishton and Clayton-le-Moors division by borough colleague Cllr Noordad Aziz at a selection meeting on Sunday.

Oswaldtwistle’s Conservative county councillor Peter Britcliffe said: “I am amazed.”

Former fireman Cllr Parkinson said: “It is obviously disappointing but we move on.

“It has been a real pleasure to represent this division for 16 years.

“As a former fireman is has been privilege to sit on the fire authority which I shall also have to retire from in May next year.

“I am sure Noordad will do a good job and as a Labour Party we now concentrate on getting back control of the county council at that election.”

Cllr Aziz, who has represented Netherton ward on Hyndburn Council since 2012, said: “Having been born and brought up in Great Harwood, it is a huge honour to be selected to contest my home division in next year’s county council elections.

“Miles has done an excellent job for the last 16 years but things in politics move on.

“I shall now do everything I can to represent the division and to improve its infrastructure after ten years of Tory-led austerity from the current government.

“We now need to concentrate on getting rid of the Conservatives at County Hall and ensuring Labour takes back control of the authority in May next year.”

Cllr Britcliffe said: “Miles Parkinson has been an effective county council for many years. I am surprised that Labour can dispense with a politician of his stature.

“I am amazed at this news.

“It shows Hyndburn Labour is in a state of flux.

“It seems that they are behaving like ferrets fighting in a sack.”

Cllr Aziz is up for re-election for his Hyndburn Council ward in May this year. He chairs the borough's audit committee and its resources overview and scrutiny committee.

Cllr Parkinson represents the Altham ward on the borough council and having been re-elected in May last year next comes up for election in 2023.