The decision by Blackburn with Darwen's mayor to hold his annual charity ball at a hotel outside his borough has been branded ' absolutely outrageous'.

Blackburn with Darwen's First Citizen Cllr Suleman Khonat selected the Stanley House Hotel in Mellor, in the Ribble Valley, for the event on February 24.

But veteran Liberal Democrat Cllr Paul Browne condemned the choice to host the ball at the venue, owned by Blackburn's billionaire Issa brothers, at the borough's full Council Forum on Thursday night.

The Darwen East councillor said: "I would like to speak on your Mayoral 'Do' which you had at the Stanley House which is in the Ribble Valley and not in Blackburn.

"I would like to know the reason why you picked that venue to go and have your Mayor's Ball when in all the time I have sat on this council every Mayor has had their Mayor's Ball in the borough of Blackburn.

"I just want to know the reason why you did not do that and what the particular reason was.

"I think it's important that the Mayor when he's having his Mayor's Ball he should support his own borough and not have his 'do' in another borough.

"I think it is absolutely outrageous."

Shear Brow and Corporation Park ward's Cllr Khonat replied: "I can assure you the very thing which was in my heart and soul the most finance we could get from the Mayor's Ball for the charities.

"That was the decision that I took."

The black-tie event hosted by Cllr Khonat, the borough's Mayor for 2022/23, included a three-course dinner, live performance, a charity auction and raffle.

Proceeds from the ball will go to his Mayoral charities Nightsafe, the East Lancashire Hospice and the Anaphylaxis Campaign.