A packed venue greeted Blackburn Independent candidate Adnan Hussain as he launched his election campaign.

Mr Hussain was joined by family, friends and supporters at the Audley Centre over the weekend on his bid to become MP for Blackburn.

Councillors from the 4 BWD group who had resigned from the Labour Party last year over the party’s stance on the conflict in Gaza are backing Mr Hussain.

New councillors who were elected in May were also at the event donning yellow ‘Vote for Adnan’ t-shirts.

Mr Hussain is one of four candidates running in Blackburn with the conflict in Gaza as the focal point of their campaign.

The event heard from a number of speakers including former Pendle Mayor Yasser Iqbal, who also resigned from the Labour Party over the Israel/Hamas conflict.

Speaking on the day Mr Hussain, who is a lawyer, said: “If you elect me as your next member of parliament I will listen to your concerns and I will speak where people have not spoken till now.

“I will speak where your voices need to be reached. I will speak where others have remained silent so far.

“I promise to be that that loud voice in defence of our community whenever the need arises.

“I will explore avenues to bring about unity.”

(Image: Nq) The Audley centre hall at the launch

He also spoke about assisting small businesses and enterprises in the town to create ‘greater opportunities’ for young people.

He told the audience: “I want to encourage people to stay in the town and invest in their communities.

“We have big names in Blackburn and there is no reason why we can’t continue to have many many big names in Blackburn.

“There is no reason why we can’t create more jobs. There is no reason why we can’t become a thriving economy.”

He said he believed the town had the potential to ‘rival’ any thriving university town, and went to speak about the need to support the most vulnerable and those who struggled to ‘keep a roof over their heads’.

Mr Hussain later said: “Just want to say a huge thank you to all my friends, family and the wonderful people of Blackburn who came out to show their support at the official Campaign Launch today. 

“To see so many of you, men, women, children, the young and the old, take your time out to come and show your support was absolutely heart-warming. I'm sure everyone will agree that the energy in that hall today was electrifying.”

The full list of candidates standing in Blackburn is: Kate Hollern, Labour; Jamie McGowan, Conservatives; Adam Waller-Slack, Liberal Democrats; Craig Murray, Workers Party; Adnan Hussain, Independent; Altaf 'Tiger' Patel, Independent; Natasha Shah, Independent; Denise Morgan, Green Party; Tommy Temperley, Reform UK.