Council statements on the resignation of the Mayor

Published Tuesday 16 February 2021 at 16:04

Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen Councillor Iftakhar Hussain has stepped down from the role following a breach of coronavirus regulations this weekend which resulted in a police fine.

Deputy Mayor Councillor Derek Hardman will carry out Mayoral duties for the remainder of the municipal year until May – remaining as Deputy Mayor.

Sayyed Osman, Deputy Chief Executive of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:

We have been informed that Cllr Iftakhar Hussain has taken the decision to step down from the position of Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen following the incident this weekend.

We believe this was the correct course of action and reinforces the Council’s Members’ code of conduct, which highlights personal responsibility. We do not endorse or condone any behaviour that falls outside this code and the coronavirus restrictions and guidelines.

Deputy Mayor Cllr Derek Hardman will undertake any Mayoral duties for the remainder of the Mayoral year which runs until May.”

Leader of the Council, Councillor Mohammed Khan, said:

I have accepted Councillor Iftakhar Hussain’s resignation as Mayor of the borough following the incident this weekend where he was found to be in breach of Covid restrictions. I know he deeply regrets this mistake. I would like to thank him for his dedicated service as Mayor during this difficult year.”

Councillor Iftakhar Hussain said:

Given recent events, I have taken the decision to step down from my position as the Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen with immediate effect. I believe this is the right thing to do and I no longer believe I can continue to serve as Mayor to the best of my ability.

I do not want to make any excuses; I regret the momentary lapse of judgment – I should have known better and I accept full responsibility for my actions.

Being appointed as the Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen during these difficult and unprecedented times has been challenging, but it has been a great honour to have served the residents of this great borough. It was a proud moment for me and my family.

I want to give my deepest apologies over any breaking of restrictions. I hope my actions will serve as a reminder to the people of Blackburn with Darwen of the importance of following the Covid-19 guidelines as it remains a real and serious threat.

I would like to request to the media to respect my family’s privacy given the difficult few days we have gone through.”

Cllr Derek Hardman said:

I have been asked to undertake Mayoral duties for the remainder of this municipal year and I am looking forward to serving the people of the Borough through this office in whatever way I can in these challenging and difficult times.

It will be a great honour to carry out Mayoral duties in this wonderful borough and I will endeavour to fulfil these duties to the best of my abilities. I want to thank Cllr Hussain for his dedication in the role of Mayor over this past year.”

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