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Unity across party lines after council candidate is punched on election trail

PUBLISHED: 16:29 17 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:18 18 April 2019

Cllr Cathy Cordiner-Achenbach, Labour party candidate for Southtown and Cobholm ward in Great Yarmouth, says she was punched while delivering leaflets on April 1 on Lichfield Road. Police are investigating the incident. Picture: Submitted.

Cllr Cathy Cordiner-Achenbach, Labour party candidate for Southtown and Cobholm ward in Great Yarmouth, says she was punched while delivering leaflets on April 1 on Lichfield Road. Police are investigating the incident. Picture: Submitted.

Archant

Calls for calm on the election trail have been made after a councillor was punched while delivering leaflets in Great Yarmouth.

Police are investigating the assault on Lichfield Road in the seaside town after 1pm on Monday April 1.

The councillor who made the report, Cathy Cordiner-Achenbach, is a Labour Party candidate for Southtown and Cobholm ward in the borough council election on May 2.

She said she was delivering leaflets in Southtown when it happened.

“I understand people feel frustrated,” she said.

Lichfield Road in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Google Maps.Lichfield Road in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Google Maps.

“We can have different views but we need to be able to be respectful to one another.”

She said she was shaken by the incident.

Emma Corlett, a Norfolk county councillor, took to social media on Wednesday (April 17) to criticise aggressive rhetoric in politics.

She said: “In the last couple of weeks one of our female councillors was punched while delivering leaflets in Great Yarmouth by someone shouting 'you ******* traitors should be hanged'.”

Other councillors out on the campaign trail have spoken of their experiences.

Cllr Sue Hacon, Conservative Party candidate for Bradwell South and Hopton, said: “Whatever party you are in, this is not the sort of behaviour we expect from the public.

“We don't deserve that.

“I don't believe in violence in any way, shape or form.

“No matter which party you represent this shouldn't happen.”

Cllr Kerry Robinson Payne, Labour Party candidate for Nelson ward, said: “I've never had any physical violence but you do get aggressive people on the doors.”

She said that she comes from a political family and has been going out on campaigns her whole life.

“But it's changed so much over the years.

“Most people are lovely, and even if they don't share your politics, they tell you in a polite way, but you do get some extreme ones.

“You just have to learn to live with it.”

She advised councillors to never go canvassing alone.

“The level of aggression has changed but the majority of people are lovely.”

She said she believes national politics has infected local politics.

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