Oldham council leader’s car set alight in ‘appalling’ arson attack

The new leader of Oldham council has had her car firebombed in an “appalling” arson attack.

Arooj Shah, the town’s first female Muslim leader, has previously spoken out about the many battles she has faced with misogyny and racism, online trolls and opposition from traditionalists within her own community.

an interview with the Manchester Evening News after becoming leader in May, Shah said: “Throughout my political career I’ve always had a fair amount of hate and abuse and that is for a variety of reasons. A lot of it is misogyny, a lot of it is racism, and all that is very, very hurtful.”

Police were called to the Glodwick area of Oldham just before 1.30am on Tuesday after reports of a vehicle on fire. Emergency services arrived and firefighters put out the blaze.

No one was hurt but minor damage was caused to a nearby property.

Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, ツイート: “This is absolutely appalling and I send my full support to @shah_arooj. It will be fully investigated and we will not be intimidated.”

Yasmin Qureshi, a Labour MP in neighbouring Bolton, ツイート: “Sending my best and solidarity to @shah_arooj – no one in politics should ever face this. Hope you are as well as can be.”

Shah became leader when her predecessor, Sean Fielding, lost his seat to an independent candidate.

A spokesperson for Oldham council said Shah was not commenting about the incident.

Greater Manchester Police confirmed the fire was being treated as arson with detectives investigating.

Jim McMahon, Labour MP for Oldham West and Royton ツイート: “My solidarity with Cllr Arooj Shah who has been targeted in such a cowardly way. The full weight of the law must be seen to bring those accountable to book.”