HYNDBURN'S inconclusive local election results could lead to current leader Miles Parkinson remaining council boss as an Independent.

The Altham councillor, elected as a Labour candidate, sensationally quit the party in March claiming it was "unpleasant, bullying and vindictive".

Since then he has remained council leader while sitting as an Independent, and he told the Lancashire Telegraph he would be happy to stay on if asked.

Thursday's local poll failed to produce a clear winner leaving Labour - who were in control until a series of resignations in recent months - with 17 councillors and the Conservatives with 14, while there are now three Independents.

Labour may decide to try and form a minority administration at the council's annual meeting on May 19.

But acting leader Cllr Paul Cox would need the votes of at least one of the independents - Cllr Parkinson, Huncoat's ex-Labour Cllr Eamonn Higgins or former Tory Cllr Pat McGinley - to do so.

If Cllr Parkinson was not challenged he would remain leader while the Conservatives would be likely to back him against a Labour challenge.

This could then lead to a Mayoral casting vote to secure a new administration.

Cllr Higgins said: "If there is not challenge, Cllr Parkinson would remain leader.

"If there is, I would be happy to vote for him.

"I could not vote for Labour."

Cllr Parkinson said: "I would be happy to remain as leader if asked.

"We are on the brink of receiving £100 million from the government.

"It would be stupid, indeed criminal, to renege on that for short-term political gain."

Conservative group leader Cllr Marlene Haworth said: "There are various options including us seeking the leadership.

"If Labour challenge Cllr Parkinson, I would vote for him and I suspect my group would too."

There is one vacant seat in the council chamber after former leader Cllr Michael Hindley quit after an altercation with a member of the public during a break in a council meeting which could break the deadlock.

But as his former Overton ward is on political knife-edge neither of the main parties may want to call a new poll.

Cllr Cox was unavailable for comment.