At 39, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi is the youngest member of the House of Lords, and the first Muslim woman to serve in the Cabinet. She was made Conservative Party chairman by Prime Minister David Cameron following the general election, and is also his minister without portfolio. Observer reporter Stuart Pike met her as she canvassed support for Conservative candidate Terry Hurn ahead of the Baxenden by election on November 18, called following the death of John Griffiths ...
Unlike, you might venture, some of her more senior life peers in the House of Lords, Conservative party chairman Baroness Warsi has the common touch.
Perceived as a rising star of David Cameron's Cabinet, she rose to prominence after being pelted with eggs by Islamic protesters in Luton last year, and also appeared on an infamous edition of the BBC's Question Time where she shared a platform with British National Party leader Nick Griffin.
Born in West Yorkshire to Pakistani parents she is happy to use her unique position to fight for the causes she is passionate about - such as Muslim women's rights. She is also a firm advocate of Mr Cameron's controversial 'Big Society' vision.
The Tory chairman, who is fluent in Urdu and Punjabi, spent Friday morning (November 5) with members of Asian women's voice group Aawaz, at Accrington's Scaitcliffe House.
"The work they are doing is amazing in terms of women's rights and involvement with the community," she enthused.
"It's fabulous for me to try and connect with Asian women, who are one of the least listened to and most marginalised groups. We are committed to making sure that speaking English is part of what we do. If they don't have English that's the first barrier and it stops them from progressing. We have to inspire people to move in that direction.
"It was great to speak to an Asian women's group in Hyndburn representing back to me the Big Society. Almost everybody seems to know what it's about. I will try and get back to see them in March and get across to their centre."
Baroness Warsi breaks off to greet Frank Rosthorn - who is walking up the street carrying a plank of wood, out of which he is going to make "something".
She quips that he is the perfect example of what the government is trying to achieve with its Big Society plans.
I ask her about the government's cuts and how they will affect ordinary families in places like Hyndburn.
She says: "What we're saying is let's try and be constructive. The state of the country is far too serious to try and play politics with it. I grew up in a house where dad was unemployed at one time in his life and that's why this is personal to me. We're doing all we can to say let's get the spending down and bring finances under control, but let's also make sure the money we're putting in is pushing towards growth."
She said: "It's not just about the by election. But it is an important by election for the council and it is important to be here, as party chairman."
The other candidates declared for the Baxenden by election are Bobby Anwar (UKIP), David Hartley (Labour) and Les Wolstencroft (Independent).