Police have launched an investigation after the leader of Oldham Council fell victim to a ‘firebombing’ attack this week in which her vehicle was set alight.
Emergency services rushed to the Glodwick area of Oldham around 1.30am on Tuesday (13 July) after reports of a vehicle on fire.
Firefighters successfully tamed the blaze and nobody was injured during the incident, although “minor damage” was caused to a nearby property.
Shah – who made history by becoming the first Muslim female council leader in North England back in May – has not yet commented on the attack, but fellow politicians have weighed in to offer her support.
Jim McMahon, MP for Oldham West & Royton, called the attack “cowardly” – stating that the “full weight of the law must be seen to bring those accountable to book”.
Chair of the Labour Party Annelise Dodds also sent her best wishes to the councillor, describing the incident as “appalling”.
Dodds added: “The authorities must find out who was responsible and bring the full force of the law to hold them to account.”
Howard Sykes, Councillor for Shaw, published a statement on behalf of the Oldham Liberal Democrats, describing the firebombing as a “frightening attack on an individual” but also an incident that “demonstrates the threat to people in public life and stops decent people from being involved in it.”
The statement reads: “This cannot be allowed to continue, and not only must we stop this criminal attack, but also the abusive approach that has been too much of the politics in Oldham recently, and the UK, in recent years.
“This is a time when we must stand together. If you are a decent, fair-minded person, you must stand up against this appalling attack, and defend the values of our country – honesty, decency and fairness.”
GMP confirmed an investigation was ongoing.
A police spokesperson commented: “Police were called just before 1:30am on Tuesday 13 July to reports of a vehicle on fire.
“Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service attended along with police, and it was established that the vehicle was deliberately ignited, also causing slight damage to a neighbouring property.
“The fire was extinguished, no-one was injured, and officers are investigating the circumstances.”
Information can be passed to the police via 101, or the independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111.
Featured image: Oldham Council