AN official Labour candidate in the forthcoming local elections has written to Tony Blair asking him to investigate Preston's Labour group.

Paul Malliband who is standing for Cadley, claims the group is in disarray, and wants the Premier to help members resolve their differences.

But Mr Malliband has done little to endear himself to the group; he currently faces expulsion from the party, for going against party rules.

He has agreed to act as agent to Terry Cartwright who is standing against the official Labour candidate.

Mr Malliband explained: "The party put Terry in an impossible situation. And he has reacted by standing independently.

"I saw a massive injustice and I had to respond."

His decision has been slammed by the leader of the council Peter Rankin who said: "There isn't a lot we can do about it at the moment, but it is regrettable."

Tony Blair has yet to reply to Mr Malliband. Were Mr Malliband to be elected, he would put Labour in an compromising position. But it would be more politically damaging if Mr Cartwright were elected into a hung council. In that case Mr Cartwright would hold the balance of power!

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