A former British National Party member has been accused of possessing the largest amount of chemical explosive of its type ever found in the country.

Robert Cottage, aged 49, of Talbot Street, Colne appeared before Burnley magistrates charged with possession of an explosive substance.

He was charged under the Explosives Substances Act 1883 after forensic experts searched his home, allegedly discovering chemical components which could be used to make explosives.

Officers claim that their find is the largest haul of chemicals of its kind discovered in someone's home in the country.

However, the exact nature of the chemicals has not been revealed. Cottage, stood for the BNP in the May elections in the Vivary Bridge ward of Colne.

David Leach, representing Cottage made no application for bail.

Magistrates remanded Cottage in custody and referred his case to Burnley Crown Court where he is due to appear later this month.