Niqab wearing Tory council candidate slams Boris' letterbox comments as 'indefensible'

38-year-old Fajila Patel is a Muslim woman is seeking election in Blackburn Borough Council

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Fajila Patel is campaigning in a niqab as a Conservative candidate seeking election in Blackburn Borough Council .

The 38-year-old Muslim woman has pledged to "help make a difference in my own community and help to bring about change", speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph.

The mum-of-four said: “You can only do that by getting involved. It is not easy and people may not always agree with what you say or do but you can only try.”

Fajila Patel
Fajila Patel

Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson has been accused of Islamophobia after he described women who wear burqas as "letter boxes" and "bank robbers" in his Daily Telegraph column in 2018.

In response to the comments which Boris Johnson apologised for in 2019, Fajila added: “I do not agree with everything a Conservative Party politician says or does. In the same way that not every Labour campaigner agrees with everything a Labour politician says.

Tiger Patel who says he has been described as "the BoJo of Blackburn".
Tiger Patel who says he has been described as "the BoJo of Blackburn".

"Some comments are indefensible. I am not trying to make a statement I am just trying to show that as a woman I can make a difference.

"Meeting people on their doorstep and talking to other women in the ward has been great."

Mrs Patel is married to Altaf (Tiger) Patel, a councillor who calls himself the "Bojo of Blackburn."

She explained her motivation for standing in the election: “I want to break down barriers. I wanted to help inspire other women to come forward and be confident enough a stand as a councillor.

"We all know that local politics in our community continues to be male dominated. There are far too few women involved in local politics and this needs to change as I know women can make a huge contribution.

“It is important for women to have their voices heard. This was always my own decision.

"There is also a great misconception about females who wear the full veil in the UK. This is based on the media’s portrayal. I know many who are intelligent and completely independent."