The Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen has apologised after it was revealed he was handed a £200 fine for breaching Covid restrictions.

Cllr Iftakhar Hussain said he attended an address for as short period of time on Saturday (February 13) and had only gone ‘to open the door to the house so some food could be delivered’.

Police handed fines to nine people, amid claims a ‘wedding’ was taking place. Cllr Hussain thanked police for their diligence and accepted his mistake in attending.

He said he had been called to a relative’s house on Dukes Brow in Blackburn and realises he should have refused to attend.

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He said: “I was on a remote meeting all evening and was unaware of any function taking place. When this had finished my uncle has rang me at just after 8.30pm and asked for some food to be delivered to his house.

“I agreed to facilitate this by going to the house and letting the food outlet deliver the food. Once the food was delivered to the house I remained there while my uncle returned.

“This was an error of judgement, and I know in hindsight I should have left the house under the current strict guidelines in place once the food had been delivered. A few relatives turned up to the address unbeknown to me once the food had arrived.”

Two police officers visited to ask if the people in the house resided there before issuing the fines.

People aged 18 or over can be fined £200 for the first offence but this is lowered to £100 if paid within 14 days. You can meet someone else if they are part of your support bubble which links two households. You can form a support bubble with another household of any size only if you meet certain eligibility rules.

Cllr Hussain said: “I confirm whilst I was present at the house at the time in question. I was the one who opened the door to the police and explained this to them.”

He also told relatives to abandon the planned function once he realised what it was. His relatives have apologised for involving him.

Cllr Hussain added: “I do urge everyone to keep to the rules and it is important whatever the circumstances to adhere to the restrictions. Everyone has a part to play.

“I would like to sincerely apologise for my mistake.

“I have always taken a lead role in advising people on various platforms regarding the seriousness of the pandemic and will continue to do so as a leading member of the community.”

The householder who asked Coun Hussain to attend told us: “This was a small function for the family members. We asked him (Coun Hussain) to open the door so the food could be delivered. We should not have asked him to do this and we apologise unreservedly for our mistake in hosting this gathering.”

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.”