Details have been announced of just some of the candidates standing as ‘Independents’ at the forthcoming council elections in Blackburn and Darwen.

A list of candidates has been shared online and further background on candidates is due to be released in the coming weeks ahead of the council elections due to take place on Thursday May 2.

Amongst the candidates are a referee, a tennis club secretary and a former manager of a local radio station.

The list of candidates also includes, registered foster carer and a community worker, Riff Haworth, NHS health inequalities project manager Saraj Mohammed and driving instructor Tahir Mahmood.

Other candidates confirmed are Muntazir Patel (Shear Brow and Corporation Park), Imran Ahmed (Roe Lee), Amin Kapadia (Audley and Queens Park) and Iqbal Masters (Wensley Fold).

The candidates do not belong to any party but a group - 'Blackburn Independents' that includes more senior members who are aim to ‘oversee and coordinate’ the election campaign in May.

The group will aim to field Independent candidates in every ward, they said.

Rana Gulistan, candidate for Bastwell and Daisyfield ward, writes in his biography: “Having spent my formative years in the Bastwell and Daisyfield, I am a familiar face to many of you, and some may recognise my contributions to the community.”

Ismail Esat is standing in the Little Harwood and Whitebirk ward and will be known to many for as a referees secretary in amateur football leagues and a volunteer.

He writes: “I am pleased to present myself as a candidate for councillor in Little Harwood, motivated by a strong dedication to effecting positive change within our community.

"My background and experiences have equipped me with a diverse skill set, uniquely qualifying me to serve as a committed representative.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Ismail Esat, Waqar Hussain, Imran Ahmed and Saraj Mohammed are standing in the forthcoming council elections.

NHS worker and and community worker Waqar Hussain is competing in the Billinge and Beardwood ward and says: “I have devoted over twenty years to involvement with Crosshill Tennis Club, underscoring my enduring commitment to community involvement.

"Throughout my tenure, I have spearheaded various projects within local community groups and supported numerous charitable initiatives.”

Candidates standing under the 'Independent' banner said their primary focus was to ‘represent the local people and local issues’.

The group said if ‘elected the Independents will have a level of autonomy and not be made to toe the party line which will allow them the opportunity to support policies and decisions that benefit the people of the borough and challenge those that do not add value’.

However, the group has appeared to have been formed following a growing disdain for the national Labour Party leaderships stance on the ongoing bombing of Gaza.

In a further statement the group said, ‘the mainstream political party stance on humanitarian issues and the selective foreign policies have been the catalyst for the independent movement which now encompasses the length and breadth of the country’.