A POLITICAL leader has hit out at a graffiti vandal who sprayed an anti-Conservative slogan on a road in Wivenhoe.

The “Torys out” message was painted on the road at the junction of The Cross and Tower Road overnight on Wednesday.

The leader of Colchester’s Conservative group Paul Dundas said the person responsible should show the “courage” to have a go at politics themselves.

When approached by the Gazette, Mr Dundas said: “I haven’t seen it personally first hand but it seems to be old fashioned vandalism.

Gazette: Statement - the slogan painted in The CrossStatement - the slogan painted in The Cross (Image: Newsquest)

“The clean-up bill will just end up being billed to the hard-pressed council tax payers of Colchester and take resources away from other essential services.”

He continued: “We live in a free country where people are free to express their views but there are ways of doing it politely and constructively and without impact on others.

“If those responsible really want to get their views heard perhaps they should consider having the courage to stand for elected office, put their case and see how they get on.”

Mr Dundas’ deputy, Darius Laws, branded the graffiti “pathetic and mindless”, urging anyone with information to contact the council.

Gazette: Unimpressed - leader of Colchester's Conservative group Paul DundasUnimpressed - leader of Colchester's Conservative group Paul Dundas (Image: Newsquest)

“Hopefully we can then invoice the perpetrator for the cleaning bill,” he added.

A Colchester Council spokesman said its neighbourhood team will work to remove the graffiti “as soon as possible”.

He said: “We are aware of a political slogan that has been painted on a road surface in Wivenhoe.

“The graffiti, which was found at the junction of The Cross and Tower Road, is believed to have been painted overnight.

Gazette: Criticism - Darius Laws branded the graffiti 'mindless'Criticism - Darius Laws branded the graffiti 'mindless' (Image: Newsquest)

“The local neighbourhood team will be working to remove the graffiti as soon as possible.

“We welcome and encourage the public to report any incidents of graffiti to us directly, via our website, at www.colchester.gov.uk/graffiti.”

The incident came as polls increasingly point towards a Labour victory at the next general election, expected next year.

Colchester MP Will Quince announced in June he will not be standing for re-election.

Mr Quince, who was elected in 2015, said he will be stepping down to spend more time with his family.