One politician who went viral thanks to a campaign video that showed him giving peace signs while standing behind X-rated graffiti in a children’s playground has won his seat in local elections.
Winner of his seat as the Conservative candidate for the Audley and Queen’s Park constituency, Tiger Patel, who says he has been dubbed “the BoJo of Blackburn,” beat incumbent Labour politician Maryam Batan by 1,209 votes to 1,096.
In response to the news, Mr. Patel tweeted, “THANK YOU, great people of Audley & Queen’s Park!
“I will be a city councilor for all! Thank you, thank you!”
A pre-election campaign video Mr. Patel shared showed him silently walking around a local playground, showing damage to equipment while music plays, in a clip that has been viewed millions of times on Twitter.
But at one point, he stands at the top of a slide and raises his arms while looking at the camera – unaware that he’s standing behind graffiti showing a scrawl of male genitalia.
“At the end of the day, when Tiger made 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 vandalized, they’re being vandalized, and the graffiti says it all – little kids playing there.”
Cllr Patel has become well known in the region for similar videos highlighting what he sees as key issues in the area, such as garbage disposal, potholes and the state of local facilities such as parks.
He ran as an independent before, but said he ran as a Conservative this time after seeing Boris Johnson give speeches on television – and says he’s even been compared to the prime minister.
“I’m inspired by Boris Johnson,” he said.
“He’s popular, and I’m popular in Blackburn, too.
“Someone said I was the BoJo of Blackburn.”