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POLITICAL vandals have attacked posters in Chippenham constituency this week in the run-up to the General Election.

November 28, 2019 5:35 PM
By Amy Pantall in Wiltshire Times

POLITICAL vandals have attacked posters in Melksham this week in the run-up to the General Election.

White paint was splashed across signs backing both the Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates.

Lib Dem candidate Helen Belcher said: "I utterly condemn the behaviour of the vandals. This vandalism is attempting to intimidate those who are legitimately expressing support for a mainstream political party with a real chance of winning in this area. Such vandalism should stop immediately.

"I note my fellow candidates in the Chippenham constituency have also condemned such behaviour."

Labour candidate Martha Anachury said: "People have the right to make a choice to support a political party and we must respect that as a democracy. We must also respect people's right to advertise their support, and the only marks that should be made is on the ballot paper."

Conservative candidate Michelle Donelan said on social media: "It is dreadful, democracy only works when we respect opinions. Unfortunately I have already had a number of posters cut up and taken down."

A police spokesman said: "We received a report that white paint had been thrown over a sign in a garden in Bradford Road, Atworth. Anyone with information should call 101 and quote crime reference number 54190113449.

"Regarding the second incident, we had a report that Paint has also been thrown on a vehicle parked in a driveway, as well as the front window and wall, of a house in Spa Road. This is believed to have taken place between 9- 10.45pm on November 14."

Also this week Conservative candidate for South West Wiltshire Dr Andrew Murrison said he has had to delete comments from his Facebook page because of their offensive nature, to protect himself and his staff from vile abuse. He said: "This is the most unpleasant and aggressive campaign I have ever been involved in, in my sixth General Election."

"I don't respond to comments on Facebook or Twitter. I do reply to emails unless they are offensive in which case they (the sender) is blocked."

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for South West Wiltshire Ellen Nicholson was not asking for a comment, but described a selection of offensive or aggressive comments on social media, email and phishing telephone calls. She continued saying that Wiltshire police have issued safety advice to all parliamentary candidates and that all repetive threats will be passed on to the police. The Liberal Democrats Parliamentary Candidates Association want candidates to be safe and secure. Unfortunately there are some people who will target and threaten security, whether it be on-line, face to face, by phone and so on. There are simple steps you can take to improve your personal security. Let people know where you and do not canvass alone.
Please campaign safely and securely and report all threats to you team and where appropriate the Police. Police ()

The Labour share of the vote in South West Wiltshire has grown over the last few years, with the party coming second in the last General Election.

Dr Murrison said: "There are two sorts of viciousness coming out in this election. There is viciousness mainly concerning Remain and there is a Momentum factor, mainly Corbynista."