AN unexpected independent candidate aims to put football at the top of the agenda in the General Election campaign.

Duncan Miller from Clayton-le-Moors sprang a surprise when the nomination deadline for the June 8 poll closed by standing in Blackburn on a ‘Venky’s Out’ ticket.

His intervention follows Blackburn Rovers relegation from the Championship earlier this month.

Mr Miller, 34 and a lifelong Ewood Park fan, said: “I strongly believe that there is no single bigger issue for the people of our town than the unacceptable plight of our football club.

“My primary aim is to ensure the future of Blackburn Rovers FC for future generations. We want to see the club in safe hands and this quite simply means ‘We need Venky’s out’.”

The other surprise on the Blackburn constituency nomination list was the absence of promised UKIP candidate Ian Grimshaw, who has decided to concentrate on the Highercroft borough council by-election on the same day instead.

The anti-EU party is now only fielding candidates Tom Commis in Burnley and Janet Brown in Hyndburn.

The Green Party is putting up four candidates: Graham Sowter for the second time in Ribble Valley; John Payne in Rossendale and Darwen, Laura Fisk in Burnley and Ian Barnett in Pendle.

Mr Sowter, a founding director of the Whalley Hydro project, said: “This is the strongest set of candidates the Green Party has fielded in East Lancashire. Our campaign is not just about environmental issues but the complete change in how we do our politics and live our lives to tackle them. We cannot go on growing forever, either in industrial output or population. It’s common sense”

All six sitting MPs are fighting to retail their seats: Conservatives Jake Berry in Rossendale and Darwen, Andrew Stephenson in Pendle, and Nigel Evans in Ribble Valley along with Labour’s Kate Hollern in Blackburn, Julie Cooper in Burnley and Graham Jones in Hyndburn.

The Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Conservatives are fighting all six seats.

Marsden ward British National Party councillor Brian Parker is nominated to fight Pendle.

A spokesman for Blackburn Rovers said the club had ‘no comment to make’ on Mr Cummings decision to stand.

Mr Berry, Mr Stephenson, Mrs Cooper and Mr Jones all have majorities at the last general election in 2015 of less than 6,000 making their seats ‘marginals’ which could change hands on June 8.