Tory candidate poses in children’s playground, blissfully unaware of explicit graffiti in front of him
A politician who says he has been described as “the BoJo of Blackburn” has gone viral thanks to a video which shows him giving peace signs while standing behind X-rated graffiti in a children’s playground.
In the campaign video, Tiger Patel – the Conservative candidate for the Audley and Queen’s Park ward – walks round a local playground silently showing damage to the equipment while music plays over the top.
At one point he stands atop a slide and raises his arms while looking at the camera – unaware that he is standing behind graffiti which shows a doodle of male genitalia.
“At the end of the day, when Tiger did the video, he didn’t notice the fruity graffiti, but that says it all for us,” Julian Arnold, chairman of the Blackburn Conservative Association, told the PA news agency.
“That’s what’s happening: these community facilities are being vandalised, are being wrecked, and the graffiti says it all – little kids play on there.”
The video was posted on Twitter on Wednesday and quickly picked up more than 600,000 views.
Mr Patel has become well known locally for similar videos highlighting what he says are some of the main issues in the area, including fly-tipping, potholes and the state of local facilities, like the parks.
He said people contact him about issues like the park instead of going to their councillor because “they don’t pick up the phone”.
“I made a video two times in Longton Street,” he told PA. “It’s worse and worse every time – the council says it has no funding, no money.
“Just about £5,000 to change about everything, but they say no money.
“And how can I believe it? They have no £5,000? Because we pay council tax £140 every month. Every year rise and rise and rise.”
Mr Patel, who has run previously as an independent, said he was moved to run as a Conservative this time after seeing Boris Johnson make speeches on TV – and he says he has even been compared with the Prime Minister.
“I’m inspired by Boris Johnson,” he said.
“He’s popular, and I’m also popular in Blackburn.
“Somebody said I was the BoJo of Blackburn.”
“He’s a big character like Boris,” Mr Arnold added.
Maryam Batan, the Labour councillor and candidate for the ward, told PA: “I have many residents that contact me on a daily basis through email, phone and social media with their issues.
“I raise and follow these up directly with relevant internal and external departments getting an outcome and have had no complaints.
“As for not answering call, I did pick up yours and I do for anyone that contacts me. If I am unavailable I send a message and return the call.
“I would love to see evidence of one email sent by Mr Patel to raise and solve an issue.”