It’s Patel vs Patel in UK mayor poll

Two Indian-origins are in race for 1st directly elected mayor poll in UK.

London: Two Indian-origin candidates are
in the race for the first directly elected mayor in the east
Midlands town of Leicester in May.

So far, the Leicester City Council leader is selected
by fellow councillors and cabinet positions are selected by
the local party, meaning the leader has less influence over

An elected mayor will select his or her own cabinet
to control every policy area in the city from schools and
transport to finance and regeneration.

After the council decided to hold elections to the
office of mayor, five leading citizens of the multicultural
town have announced their candidature: current council leader
Veejay Patel, Rita Patel, Peter Soulsby, Ross Wilmott and
Abdul Osman.

Rita Patel, 51, who migrated to Britain in the 1970s
and went on to hold several key positions in the voluntary
sector, expects to be chosen as the official Labour Party

Veejay Patel, who was born in Leicester, said: "I am
currently running the council. This is my home and I am very
proud of my city. I have been successful in business and
wanted to give something back, which is why I became a

Promising to focus on key issues in the town Rita
Patel said: "No one person has all the answers, and bringing
people together is the only way we are going to get through
the difficult times we face. I don`t have the money to run a
glitzy campaign".

Patel is the former manager of the Belgrave Baheno,
a voluntary organisation for local women in Leicester.
She was also closely involved with the Peepul Centre,
located in the Belgrave area of the town.

She said: "I absolutely love the city of Leicester
and the way we have always opened our arms and welcomed new
people. I believe in the people of Leicester and feel that
they deserve better, no matter where they live."

Launching his campaign, Veejay Patel said: "I
believe being mayor isn`t about egos but about working as a
team with the councillors and with the ordinary members of the
public for our great city".


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