A local election candidate was left needing treatment after she was assaulted and called ‘a Tory b***h’ while on the campaign trail in Essex.
Carla Hales, who is running in the Colchester Borough Council Elections. claims she was punched multiple times on Wednesday afternoon outside Bourne Mill in Colchester’s New Town by a man shouting anti-Tory abuse at her.
Carla, 46, said: ‘I was in the Bourne Mill area and was trying to get some social media area pictures.
‘I stopped to lean against a wall but I had my head in my phone and had some leaflets out and was maybe going do to a ‘selfie’ or something like that.
‘I didn’t hear a person come up behind me. It was one, two, three punch in my ribs in my side and I was sworn at - called a ‘f** Tory b****’ and then he just ran away.
‘It just happened so quickly, I sat there for a second and thought did that actually happen?
‘I took a deep breath and had a real deep pain in my side and for a second thought have I been stabbed?’
Following the attack, Mrs Hales drove herself to A&E and was told after x-rays to her back that her ribs were badly bruised.
In a statement, Colchester Conservative Group Darius Laws said: ‘I am saddened and appalled to have learnt that earlier today one of our candidates, Carla Hales, standing in the upcoming Colchester Borough Council Elections, was verbally abused and violently assaulted.
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‘Carla sought medical treatment and is now recovering at home.
"This is the ugly side of politics and it is an attack not just on a Conservative but an attack on democracy.
‘It is an attack on everyone who seeks to put their name forward to stand up for their community, such violence and intimidation is utterly deplorable.
‘I had hoped after the tragic murder of Jo Cox MP we might have learnt lessons about the way in which people with opposing viewpoints conduct themselves.
‘I have asked the Police Commander for Colchester to ensure that this incident is investigated and the man responsible is brought to justice.’
Conservative MP for Colchester Matt Quince said on Twitter: ‘Absolutely disgusted to hear one of our local election candidates has been the victim of a politically motivated violent assault.
‘My thoughts are with Carla who is one of the loveliest most genuine people I know. I hope Essex Police catch the perpetrator.’
Meanwhile, Essex Police have said in a statement: ‘We are investigating following an assault in Colchester.
‘A woman in her 40s reported a man had verbally abused her and punched her to the side in Bourne Road at around 4pm on April 24. Our enquiries are ongoing.’