North Norfolk Liberal Democrats have expressed their deep disappointment at “dirty tricks entering an otherwise respectful election campaign”.
Fifteen Lib Dem poster boards were removed or vandalised along Horning Road, Hoveton last week, just before government minister Michael Gove visited Oyster Yachts at Hoveton with the local Conservative election candidate. The only board left standing was Conservative.
Tom Blofeld, writer and creator of Hoveton’s Bewilderwood theme park, is the owner of the land on which the boards were ripped out. “I’m disgusted by this behaviour”, says Blofeld. “The right of people to express their political position freely should be sacrosanct. I asked for the Liberal Democrat boards to be reinstated immediately.”
On the same day, Lib Dem supporters were dismayed by the violent disruption of the election hustings held at Stalham Baptist Church. A noisy heckler, known to be a Conservative Party member, tried to silence the Lib Dem candidate Karen Ward. As he was escorted out of the building, a punch was thrown at a Lib Dem councillor. The man was arrested on Monday this week and released on bail conditions that stop him attending further hustings.
North Norfolk Conservatives have also been attempting to discredit Karen Ward’s highly respected work on North Norfolk District Council. They have called on the Eastern Daily Press to investigate their own ‘probe’ into an unsubstantiated procedural issue concerning the hiring of a consultant. The District Council is looking into the matter, but stresses that the Liberal Democrat candidate is not under investigation.
A Lib Dem spokesperson says, “It seems the Conservatives will stop at nothing to win seats. But people are tired of politicians lying and using shabby tactics to get their way. The integrity and dignity of candidate Karen Ward and our previous MP Sir Norman Lamb are widely recognised.”