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'Totally unacceptable' - Alleged assault and threats at election hustings

A scene from the North Norfolk hustings at Stalham Baptist Church. Picture: Stuart Anderson

A scene from the North Norfolk hustings at Stalham Baptist Church. Picture: Stuart Anderson

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A man has been reported to the police after an alleged incident involving threats and assault at a general election hustings.

Tim Adams, who was at the election hustings at Stalham Baptist Church. Picture: Supplied by Tim AdamsTim Adams, who was at the election hustings at Stalham Baptist Church. Picture: Supplied by Tim Adams

The incident is alleged to have happened at Stalham Baptish Church on Wednesday evening, where the four candidates for North Norfolk were speaking in front of an audience of more than 100 people.

Brexit was the first topic to be discussed, and after a man on the balcony level posed a question, he repeatedly interrupted the Labour candidate Emma Cortlett and Liberal Democrat candidate Karen Ward.

After several warnings from church leader David Child, who hosted the hustings, the man on the balcony was asked to leave.

Tim Adams, a Cromer town, district and county councillor, alleged the man hit him as he passed.

Mr Adams, a Lib Dem, said: "He walked past me and hit me. He said 'you're one of them, you're one of those Liberals. I'm going to have you'. I grabbed him and when I was trying to work out what to do next he said 'I know where you live, I'm going to come around to where you live and smash your face in'. He didn't physically hurt me but I but I consider the threats worse."

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A Norfolk police spokesman said: "Police are investigating an incident following reports of assault and verbal threats at a political event in Stalham [on Wednesday]. Inquiries are ongoing."

Mr Adams said the incident was "totally unacceptable".

He said: "He was really horrible to some of the volunteers at the church as well, saying 'I don't care about your God'.

"It's not something you want to see in North Norfolk."

He called on Duncan Baker, Conservative candidate for North Norfolk, to condemn the incident.

Mr Baker said that while he did not see the incident, which was alleged to have happened out of view of the candidates, he said: "I absolutely do not condone the behaviour I saw inside the church last night. Totally unacceptable."

Mr Adams said calls had been made for a police presence at the remaining North Norfolk hustings events.

Also taking part in the hustings was Harry Gwynne, the Brexit Party's candidate for the seat.

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