Potential Workers Party of Britain candidate Matthew Britcliffe has pulled out of the general election campaign in Hyndburn.

Last week, the Blackburn-born quantity surveyor announced his intention to stand for George Galloway's party against his cousin and defending Conservative MP Sara Britcliffe on July 4.

But at the last minute before nominations closed on Friday the 47-year-old Longridge resident withdrew from the contest.

Matthew, who is Miss Britcliffe's first cousin and nephew of former Hyndburn Council leader and veteran Oswaldtwistle county councillor Peter, has opted to campaign for the Workers Party of Britain's Blackburn candidate Craig Murray instead.

Mr Britcliffe said on Friday: "I made the decision this afternoon to withdraw my candidacy in Hyndburn and instead help support Craig Murray in Blackburn.

"It's disappointing but feels like the right decision."

Educated at Blackburn's Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School and Leicester University, Matthews had issued a lengthy campaign launch statement which said his 'political inspiration' was former Labour cabinet minister Tony Benn.

Mr Murray - the 65-year-old former UK ambassador in Uzbekistan from 2002 to 2004 before being dismissed - is seeking to unseat defending Blackburn Labour MP Kate Hollern in Blackburn, campaigning primarily on the conflict in Gaza.

In 2005 he stood unsuccessfully as an independent in Blackburn, then represented by the Labour Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, in the wake of the Iraq War.

Miss Britcliffe, who last week said "Matthew is an estranged family member with whom I have no contact due to personal reasons", declined to comment on his withdrawal.

The full list of candidates nominated to stand in Hyndburn is: Sara Britcliffe – Conservative Party; Shabir Fazal - Green Party; Richard Oakley – Reform UK; Sarah Smith - Labour Party; Beth Waller-Slack – Liberal Democrats.

Those standing in Blackburn are: Kate Hollern – Labour Party; Adnan Hussain - Independent; Jamie McGowan - Conservative Party; Denise Morgan - Green Party; Craig Murray – Workers Party of Britain; Tiger Patel – Independent; Natasha Shah - Independent; Tommy Temperley – Reform UK; Adam Waller-Slack – Liberal Democrats.