CAMPAIGNERS in Blackheath are "shocked" after popular town businessman Nagi Daya Singh was removed from a list of people who can be chosen to stand as candidates in May's local elections.

Nagi, who is known as 'Mr Blackheath' after running gift shop Treasure Island in the town for 24 years, was selected for the panel by the local Labour party.

But the regional party removed him from the list - prompting dismay locally and a bid for him to be reinstated.

A statement released by Halesowen and Rowley Regis Constituency Labour Party stated: "We were shocked to learn that Nagi Daya Singh was removed from the panel.

"Nagi is a stalwart campaigner who has worked tirelessly and selflessly in local and national elections for Labour candidates in addition to his work for MEPs and our candidate in the West Midlands Mayoral election.

"He has earned our respect and does not deserve to be treated in this way."

Ian Cooper, Labour's Parliamentary candidate for Halesowen & Rowley Regis, said: "Nagi has been a tireless campaigner for charity and really cares about his community.

"I think these are excellent qualities to be a councillor.

"We half jokingly refer to him as 'Mr Blackheath' because he's trusted, liked and respected.

"He's extremely hard-working and dedicated to the party.

"He's also a lovely bloke, a genuinely lovely man."

Grandfather-of-four Nagi, who is widowed, reluctantly closed his shop earlier this year - but still lives about it and has vowed to never leave.

He has been chairman of Blackheath Traders Association and launched the town's Christmas lights event in 1997.

Cradley Heath and Old Hill councillor Ann Shackleton was also removed from the panel. The Halesowen and Rowley Regis Constituency Labour Party is also calling for her to be reinstated.

A regional Labour Party Spokesperson said: “We don’t comment on internal party processes”.