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Will Scobie and Craig Mackinlay condemn Broadstairs attack on Labour activists by far right group

Police are investigating an incident in which Labour activists canvassing in Broadstairs were threatened by what are claimed to be members of a far right group today.

The incident took place about 3pm in Lindenthorpe Road. According to eye witnesses, two cars pulled up at either end of the road in which Labour members were knocking on doors.

A group of men got out of the vehicles and according to witnesses began shouting abuse and intimidating them.

Will Scobie is standing for Labour and Craig Mackinlay for the Tories in South Thanet
Will Scobie is standing for Labour and Craig Mackinlay for the Tories in South Thanet

It is claimed they also ripped up party literature and shouted "Ukip, Ukip" as they left the scene.

Labour said they believed the men to be members of a group callled South East Alliance, a splinter group of the EDL - the English Defence League.

Earlier, candidate Will Scobie had tweeted that the attack had been made by the National Front.

Separately, there was said to have been another incident of a similar nature involving members of the anti-Ukip group Thanet Stand Up To UKIP, who were manning their stall in Broadstairs this afternoon.

Sources say tensions have been rising in South Thanet as the campaign enters its final phase.

Will Scobie
Will Scobie

In a joint statement, Labour candidate Will Scobie and Craig Mackinlay said they condemned the attacks.

Mr Mackinlay said there had already been violent demonstrations in the area.

Craig Mackinlay said: "I condemn completely the attack on Labour’s activists this afternoon. There can be no place in our parliamentary democracy for this kind of behaviour. But, sadly, it is not the first example of intimidation in the course of this campaign.

"Conservative canvassers have received racist abuse, Far Right organisations have organised sometimes violent demonstrations in the local area, and I believe some local people have received threatening letters.

"I call on all the candidates in this election to join Will Scobie and me in condemning all of these incidents and all of the people behind them."

A Ukip spokesman said that neither Labour or the Conservatives had previously condemned incidents in which its members had been subject to abuse, including incidents in which graffiti had been repeatedly daubed on their property.

"This is opportunistic. Where were they when our members have been subjected to abuse? They cannot have it both ways," he added.

A spokesman for Kent Police said: "Police are investigating following an incident in Lindenthorpe Road, Broadstairs which occurred between 2.23pm and 2.45pm today (Saturday, 25 April). 

"It is alleged that a rosette was torn from the clothes of a 46-year-old man who was canvassing in the area. Enquiries are ongoing to locate the suspect."

On its Facebook page the South East Alliance describes itself as a "non-political community based street movement that will seek to act as a UNITY platform for the right."

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