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General election 2019: Hustings ban for heckler amid "dirty tricks" allegation

PUBLISHED: 10:21 05 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:30 05 December 2019

A Liberal Democrat election sign on Horning Road, Hoveton, which was damaged. Picture: Kevin Geary

A Liberal Democrat election sign on Horning Road, Hoveton, which was damaged. Picture: Kevin Geary

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A heckler who was asked to leave an election hustings has been arrested and banned from going to any more hustings events.

A Liberal Democrat election sign on Horning Road, Hoveton, which was damaged. Picture: Kevin GearyA Liberal Democrat election sign on Horning Road, Hoveton, which was damaged. Picture: Kevin Geary

Norfolk police released the man on bail conditions that stop him attending further hustings following his arrest on Monday.

The heckling incident happened at a North Norfolk hustings at Stalham Baptist Church on November 28.

The man repeatedly interrupted the Labour candidate Emma Corlett and Liberal Democrat candidate Karen Ward after asking for the candidates' stance on Brexit.

He is also alleged to have assaulted and threatened Tim Adams, a Cromer town, district and county councillor, as he was on his way out.

A Liberal Democrat election sign on Horning Road, Hoveton, which was taken down. The Conservatives denied blame and said Norfolk County Council took it down because it was A Liberal Democrat election sign on Horning Road, Hoveton, which was taken down. The Conservatives denied blame and said Norfolk County Council took it down because it was "illegally" erected. Picture: Kevin Geary

A Norfolk police spokesman said: "A 38-year-old man was arrested on Monday, December 2 on suspicion of assault and threatening behaviour.

"He was later bailed to appear at Aylsham Police Investigation Centre on December 29, with conditions, which included not contacting MPs, or witnesses to the incident, and not to attend any political events."

Meanwhile, the North Norfolk Liberal Democrats have hit out at what they call a "dirty tricks" campaign of poster boards being removed or vandalised along Horning Road, Hoveton last Wednesday, before government minister Michael Gove visited Oyster Yachts at Hoveton.

A Lib Dem spokesman said 15 of their boards were affected.

Tom Blofeld, creator of Hoveton's Bewilderwood theme park and owner of the land on which the boards were ripped out said: "I'm disgusted by this behaviour".

Mr Blofeld, himself a Lib Dem member, said: "The right of people to express their political position freely should be sacrosanct. I asked for the Liberal Democrat boards to be reinstated immediately."

Conservative Duncan Baker and Brexit Party candidate Harry Gwynne are also contesting the North Norfolk seat.

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