A British mayoral candidate has caused controversy after delivering a video manifesto on the BBC website completely in Urdu.
Mohammed Aslam, who is an independent candidate for Greater Manchester ‘Metro Mayor’, appeared on the BBC News site’s “minute manifesto” series, in which each candidate is given one minute to spell out their policies.
However, the corporation appears to have had to dub over Mr Aslam’s speech after he delivered it in a foreign language.
Janice Atkinson, an independent member of the European Parliament, tweeted saying: “If you can’t/won’t speak English you have no right to stand in elections. You cannot represent our people, culture and values. Stand down.”
If you can't/won't speak English you have no right to stand in elections. You cannot represent our people, culture and values. Stand down. https://t.co/ppGYgoajOF
— Janice Atkinson (@Janice4Brexit) April 22, 2017
It remains unclear whether Mr Aslam is in fact unable to speak English or whether he simply refused to do so.
According to the BBC website, Mr Aslam was born in Faisalbad, Pakistan and moved to Manchester 17 years ago. He is the director of a property letting company, and says he wants to make the area “more developed and a modern region”.
The position of ‘Metro mayor’ is a new creation and will cover the whole of Greater Manchester, including the city of Manchester itself as well as places such as Salford, Rochdale, Oldham and Bolton.
The mayor will have power of transport, healthcare, policing and even some powers relating to criminal justice.
Mr Aslam is one of eight candidates for the post, with the Labour Party’s Andy Burnham seen as the clear frontrunner in an area that has traditionally strongly backed the party.