A Labour mayor has resigned after police raided a wedding celebration in Blackburn last weekend. Iftakhar Hussain (pictured above) was found at an address in Dukes Brow on Saturday night following reports that a wedding had taken place involving up to 30 people. Cllr Hussain was among nine people fined £200 by Lancashire Police and has since resigned as mayor of Blackburn with Darwen.
Hussain claims to have been at the house after he was asked to 'facilitate a food delivery' in a somewhat inventive, albeit absurd excuse. This is what he told the Lancashire Telegraph:
"I was on a remote meeting all evening and was unaware of any function taking place. When this had finished my uncle rang me at just after 8.30pm and asked for some food to be delivered to his house.I agreed to facilitate this by going to the house and letting the food outlet deliver the food. Once the food was delivered to the house I remained there while my uncle returned.This was an error of judgement, and I know in hindsight I should have left the house under the current strict guidelines in place once the food had been delivered. A few relatives turned up to the address unbeknown to me once the food had arrived".
Just a few holes there Ifty. Why didn't you leave after the food was delivered? You clearly had access to the property, so could have easily locked up and scarpered. Also, how could you possibly be unaware that up to seven other people had arrived at the house, even if it was one of the larger semi-detached homes on that street? According to the newspaper you were aware of their presence as it is clearly stated that you told your relatives to abandon the function upon realising what was happening. This is in direct contradiction of your 'unbeknown to me' defence.
Blackburn continues to have one of the highest coronavirus infection rates in the UK. Despite his fall from grace, Cllr Hussain - who has been a councillor since 2004 - urged people to follow the rules: "I do urge everyone to keep to the rules and it is important whatever the circumstances to adhere to the restrictions. Everyone has a part to play.". Rules for thee, but not for me!
The deputy mayor of Blackburn, who is an opposition Conservative, will stand in for mayoral duties until a full-time replacement is appointed.