LABOUR have consolidated their control of Blackburn with Darwen Council as the party appointed a new borough leader tonight.

They gained one extra seat in Thursday's local elections but saw two new councillors follow in their parents' political footsteps.

Elaine Whittingham succeeded her retiring mother Maureen Bateson in her Ewood ward and Sonia Khan won Little Harwood and Whitebirk for Labour as her father Zamir held Blackburn Central.

The party ousted Independent Yusuf Jan Virmani in Audley and Queen's Park ward to give them 36 of the borough's 51 councillors.

It then promoted Cllr Phil Riley from deputy to leader of the Labour group and council to succeed the retiring Mohammed Khan.

The Conservatives failed to win any new wards as their vote fell dramatically in Blackburn.

Liberal Democrat hopes of making headway in Darwen failed to materialise.

Sabahat Imtiaz succeeded Mohammed Khan in Wensley Fold and with Sonia Khan was one of two young Asian women in their 20s to be elected for Labour.

Cllr Zamir Khan said: "I am delighted and honoured for the family that two of use are now on the council."

Cllr Sonia Khan said: "I'm overjoyed. It's great to be following in a family tradition of helping people."

Cllr Whittingham said: "I am relieved. I had to win the my mother's ward after she had put in so much work for 39 years.

"They are big boots to fill but I have big feet."

Mrs Bateson said: "I am thrilled and a very proud mum."

Cllr Riley, confirmed as expected as Cllr Khan's successor, said: "They were very good results for us.

"They show that Blackburn with Darwen Labour Party takes elections very seriously.

"We like the opportunity of getting out to meet people and talk to them so we can turn their comments into actions.

"I am delighted to be appointed as Mohammed's successor.

"I have watched carefully how he did the job and hope I can be as successful following in his footsteps.

"It is reassuring that we have two new young Asian women councillors in Cllrs Imtiaz and Sonia Khan joining the council.

"The fall in the Conservative vote was a major reason for the low turn out. It fell because people are fed up with the behaviour of Boris Johnson."

Mohammed Khan said: "I leave the Labour group and the council in good hands.

"With the cost of living crisis and the hang-over from Covid the new leader will have a difficult task."