This Tory candidate’s playground campaign video may be the most surreal thing you see today

Harriet Brewis
Thursday 06 May 2021 09:08
news

A local election hopeful has become a runaway icon of the internet after releasing a baffling campaign video.

In the clip, Tiger Patel – the Conservative candidate for the Audley and Queen’s Park ward in Blackburn – wanders an empty children’s playground, striking the occasional po-faced pose amid the swings and slides.

A backing track is played over the top but is largely drowned out by the sound of the wind (this isn’t what you’d call high-budget filming).

At one point Patel, who models himself on Boris Johnson, stands atop a playing frame and raises his hands in peace signs.

Little does he know that directly beneath him is an X-rated piece of graffiti bearing the word “suck” plus a doodle of male genitalia.

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The video was posted on Twitter on the eve of the elections, quickly garnering more than a million hits and thousands of comments from baffled and admiring viewers.

Some users shared their awe at the clip:

While others offered more information on the man himself, as well as examples of his previous work:

Patel has already become well known locally for his previous 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.

After previously running as an independent, the council hopeful said he was moved to run as a Conservative this time after seeing the Prime Minister make speeches on TV.

“I’m inspired by Boris Johnson,” he explained. “He’s popular, and I’m also popular in Blackburn.”

He added proudly: “Somebody said I was the BoJo of Blackburn.”

Addressing the graffiti mishap he told Asian Image: “It was a genuine mistake. The person filming it did not see it either. It only came to our attention after we sent it out.

“I am not bothered about it one bit,” he added. “It was just an error.”

Would Patel get your vote?

(PA/Tiger Patel)

Acknowledging that Patel “didn’t notice the fruity graffiti,” Julian Arnold, chairman of the Blackburn Conservative Association, said it symbolised broader issues in the community.

He explained: “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.”

However, Maryam Batan, the Labour councillor and other candidate for the ward, has defended her handling of the situation.

She said: “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.”

Batan added: “I would love to see evidence of one email sent by Mr Patel to raise and solve an issue.”

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