An East Lancashire local authority seems set to continue as before after its leader quit the Labour Party over the leadership's stance on a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Burnley Council boss Cllr Afraisiab Anwar resigned along with nine other councillors at the weekend citing Sir Keir Starmer's refusal to call for a ceasefire.

Starmer has continued to call for humanitarian 'pauses' to allow aid into Gaza and the release of hostages as opposed to a ceasefire.

This left the borough in political limbo with 12 Labour councillors, 10 former party members sitting as Independents, seven Liberal Democrats, seven Green councillors, seven Tories and two other Independents.

Now the remainder of the Labour group has elected former council boss Cllr Mark Townsend as its new leader and voted to continue to support Cllr Anwar, who is two years into his four-year term in charge.

Lancashire Telegraph: Mark Townsend is Burnley Labour group's new leaderMark Townsend is Burnley Labour group's new leader

He can only be deposed from his position if a meeting of Burnley's Full Council passes a vote of no confidence in his leadership.

Growth boss Cllr Townsend said he, deputy leader and executive member for resources Cllr Sue Graham and housing boss Cllr John Harbour would be happy to continue to serve under Cllr Anwar's continued leadership.

Environment boss Cllr Lubna Khan quit the party along with Cllr Anwar and remains in post.

A Labour group statement after it met on Monday night said: "The events of the last few weeks have proven to be a highly emotional time.

"While we are disappointed obviously to have lost colleagues and friends from the Labour Group on Burnley Council, we know this decision has not been taken lightly.

"As Labour people - as mothers, fathers, sons and daughters - we all want an end to the violence and for there to be a just and lasting peace."

Cllr Townsend said: “What the council needs now is stability and certainty.

"The Labour group will work constructively with the newly independent council leader to continue the delivery of resident priorities and services across all the communities of Burnley and Padiham."

Lancashire Telegraph: No plans for a confidence vote, says Lib Dem Gordon BirtwistleNo plans for a confidence vote, says Lib Dem Gordon Birtwistle

Leader of the Lib Dem group Cllr Gordon Birtwistle said he had no plans to table a motion of no confidence in Cllr Anwar.

He said: "Our main priority is to ensure the stability of the council in these torrid times.

"This situation needs to be resolved."

Lancashire Telegraph: Conservative Alan Hosker said it's 'more Labour chaos'Conservative Alan Hosker said it's 'more Labour chaos'

Conservative group leader Cllr Alan Hosker said: "What we’re witnessing is the complete collapse of the Labour Party in Burnley and Padiham.

"In the space of a week, they have lost 12 Burnley councillors over international politics – showing where their priorities have been.

"The only change Labour are bringing is absolute chaos to our council.”

Cllr Anwar declined to make any immediate comment.