A BUSINESS leader has been critically injured in a violent attack in the street.

Family man Shahed Mahmood was assaulted in Accrington on Tuesday and taken to hospital where he remains in a critical but stable condition.

Mr Mahmood, who is president of the Hyndburn Chamber of Trade, suffered head injuries.

A man from Accrington has been arrested on suspicion of assault and remains in custody.

Friends and colleagues have expressed their shock after learning of the attack.

Hyndburn Council Leader Miles Parkinson said: "Shahed is a greatly respected man and we are all very concerned for his condition.

"Our thoughts are with Shahed and his family at this tough time.

"The main thing to remember is to send our well-wishes to Shaheed and his family. We are all thinking about him."

MP for Hyndburn Graham Jones said: "I am deeply upset by the news, Shaheed is a very valued friend and colleague.

"This violence is simply unacceptable and all my best wishes are with him and his family."

The 49-year-old is a prominent figure in the borough, and is due to stand as a Labour party candidate for the  Immanuel ward in May's forthcoming local elections for Hyndburn Council.

In a statement Lancashire Police said: “Police were called shortly after 5.50pm to reports a man in his 40s had been seriously injured following an altercation with another man on Blackburn Road in Accrington. It happened close to the junction with Princess Street.

“The man suffered injuries to his head and was taken to Royal Preston Hospital where he remains in a critical but stable condition.

“A 27-year-old man from Accrington has been arrested on suspicion of section 18 assault.

Inspector Neil Marr said: “We’re appealing to anyone who was in the area, or who saw anything suspicious around the time, to please come forward with any information which could help with our investigation.”

Anyone with information should call 101 quoting log number 1110.