General election 2019: ‘No solo Labour canvassing’ in Bromyard after attack

Bromyard High Street

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The assault happened while the Labour party member was in the town’s High Street at about 11:30 GMT on Saturday

The Labour party says its members will not canvass alone in a Herefordshire town after a woman attacked a volunteer in her 70s.

She “got into a verbal spat” with the party member while she was canvassing on Bromyard’s High Street on Saturday, it said.

The attacker then threw her over the bonnet of a parked car, the party added.

The victim does not want charges to be brought, police said.

She was treated for minor injuries after the “unprovoked altercation” and had been left shaken and “very bruised”, Labour said.

Steve Parker, from the party, said the attacker initially “went to our stand and started defacing one of the banners”.

He added she later crossed the street “and accosted one of our older colleagues and got into a verbal spat, which ended up with her physically attacking this [colleague]”.

A local shopkeeper “came out because he saw what was going on, pulled the woman off and it was just a very nasty incident”, Mr Parker said.

Chancellor Sajid Javid described the attack as “absolutely appalling” in a post on Twitter.

“Not only a inexcusable attack on the canvasser, but an attack on democracy and all political parties,” he added.

Mr Parker said: “We will go at least in twos now because we can’t have this.

“We are all volunteers and we believe what we’re doing and it’s just completely wrong to use violence of any sort.”

West Mercia Police said it was continuing “to engage with both parties to ensure an appropriate outcome for the victim”.

On Sunday, a 72-year-old Labour campaigner was attacked while going house-to-house in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

The man, who uses a walking stick, was initially taken to hospital with a suspected broken jaw. A 51-year-old was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm.

The candidates standing in Herefordshire North are:

Ellie Chowns – Green Party

Phillip Howells – Liberal Democrats

Bill Wiggin – Conservative Party

Joe Wood – Labour Party

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