(Originally published by The Guardian)
A real-life superhero has announced he plans to stand as a candidate at the North-West’s first ever directly elected mayor elections in Salford on May 3rd.
19 year old Roger Hayhurst, better known by his alias the Knight Warrior, declared his intention to run for mayor after being spotted at Salford town hall picking up his candidacy papers.
Inspired by comic book heroes Batman and Superman, Roger has become a minor celebrity over the past two years, patrolling the streets of Salford and tackling anti-social behaviour dressed in his trademark blue cape and mask.
The part time gardener has also toured schools and recently pioneered a scheme to feed the homeless.
If voted in, he promised to use his powers to make Salford a safer place:
“I’d set up more neighbourhood watch schemes and use my experience to help combat crime in the area”
“I don’t know if I’ll win or not but I think I’ve got a good chance. It would be good to have a Mayor like me, a local lad.”
Roger faces stiff competition from Labour candidate Ian Stewart, who warned the position should be reserved for someone serious about the job.
“There’s always room for a joke and a laugh in British politics but the danger is you have to be careful and apprehensive because the person might have no political knowledge or experience."
“When it comes to the crunch you need someone sensible and serious to make decisions that will look after and affect your family."
In Salford, Roger’s announcement was warmly received, as the electorate welcomed an alternative choice to the major parties.
One Salfordian proclaimed: “If this man does what he says he can do, I’ll definitely vote for him!”
Others, like Paul Gerrard, were more cautious: “I’d need to know more about him and what he stands for, but I won’t be voting for any of the establishment parties because they’re all in it together.”
Jean Coward agreed: “I’d need to read something more about what he intends to do first.”
If successful, Roger would follow in the footsteps of H'Angus the Monkey, the football Mascot elected as Mayor of Hartlepool in 2002 with the slogan "free bananas for schoolchildren".
Initially written off as a joke candidate, H’Angus has since been re-elected twice setting a precedent the Knight Warrior will seek to emulate.