PARTY group leaders in Colchester have urged campaigners to be vigilant after Wednesday’s attack on a Conservative candidate.

Carla Hales, Conservative candidate in the Colchester Council elections, was approached from behind, punched three times and called a “Tory b****” by the perpetrator while out alone in Bourne Road on Wednesday.

Councillors from all parties condemned what happened and urged campaigners not to venture out alone. 

Conservative Darius Laws said: “I am going to be asking all our candidates to be mindful about being on their own, that is a key thing, and to make sure someone knows where they are when they are out and about.”

Tim Young, Colchester Labour leader, said: “We cannot let thuggery triumph over democracy.

“We have said to all our candidates, don’t go out individually, go out in a group because if things happen, you have to try to protect yourselves.”

Mark Cory, the Liberal Democrat council leader, said: “I explained to my group this happened and told them to be careful.”

Gerard Oxford, Highwoods Independent Group leader, and the Green Party’s Mark Goacher also condemned the attack.

  • Other candidates standing in the ward in next Thursday’s elections are Bob Brannan (Green party),Nick Cope (Lib Dem) and Elisa Vasquez-Walters (Labour)

For a list of all candidates standing in the elections click here.