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Man arrested over arson attack on Oldham Council leader's car

Greengate Street in Oldham. Image: Google Maps.

A man has been arrested after Oldham Council leader Councillor Arooj Shah's vehicle was "firebombed" in a shocking arson attack.

Greater Manchester Police said they were called just before 1:30am in the early hours of Tuesday morning (13 July) to reports of a vehicle on fire on Greengate Street.

Firefighters also attended and it was established that the vehicle was deliberately ignited, also causing slight damage to a neighbouring property.

The fire was extinguished and no-one was injured. 

GMP confirmed on Wednesday afternoon (14 July) that a 23-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.

They say he remains in custody and is assisting police with their enquiries.

Oldham Council leader Councillor Arooj Shah

Detective Chief Inspector Wesley Knights, of GMP's Oldham division, said: "This fire destroyed a vehicle and caused damage to a neighbouring property. It was a reckless, abhorrent act, and it's fortunate that no-one got hurt.

"We will not rest until the circumstances around this incident are fully understood, and those responsible brought to justice.

"While we have made an arrest, our investigation remains very much ongoing, and I would like to appeal to anyone who may have witnessed anything, or have any information surrounding this fire to please contact police as soon as possible."

Councillor Shah has not yet commented on the incident but fellow politicians - including Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, Oldham West and Royton MP Jim McMahon - have offered their support and reacted with shock

Anyone with information should contact police on 0161 856 9059, quoting incident number 0041 of 13/07/2021. Reports can also be made anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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