NEWSAGENT Cllr Suleman Khonat is in line to become a borough's 'First Citizen' in 2022.

The Shear Brow and Corporation Park Labour representative was chosen as Deputy Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen from May at the borough's Full Council on Thursday.

This means he should become the Mayor a year later.

The 61-year-old is on the executive of the National Federation of Retail Newsagents.

Current Mayor for 2021/22 Conservative Cllr Derek Hardman said: "I am looking forward to working with Cllr Khonat.

"We will make a good partnership."

Cllr Khonat said: "I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all councillors for placing their trust in me.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all my family, friends and colleagues, for their immense and unconditional support over the many decades of public service I have been able to provide.

"I would also like to thank the Shear Brow and Corporation Ward constituents, for their continued support. I am truly honoured and humbled.

"Whilst I am in this very privileged position, I will continue to serve the good people of the borough to the best of my abilities."