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City politician speaks out after Labour campaigners reportedly abused on campaign trail

PUBLISHED: 07:38 10 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:30 10 September 2019

Karen Davis, Labour parliamentary candidate for Norwich North, with Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council, and Steve Morphew, Labour county councillor.
 Ms Davis has said political campaigners may have to go canvassing in pairs following reports of violence against volunteers on the doorstep. Photo: supplied by Karen Davis

Karen Davis, Labour parliamentary candidate for Norwich North, with Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council, and Steve Morphew, Labour county councillor. Ms Davis has said political campaigners may have to go canvassing in pairs following reports of violence against volunteers on the doorstep. Photo: supplied by Karen Davis

supplied by Karen Davis

Police are reportedly investigating claims from political campaigners that they were abused while canvassing in Norwich.

The Labour campaigners say they were verbally abused twice while out in Sprowston.

It followed Jeremy Corbyn's visit to the area, in the Norwich North constituency, on Saturday, stating an intention from Labour to target the seat - currently held by Conservative MP Chloe Smith - in what seems to be an inevitable general election in the coming months.

But the reported abuse has left some campaigners shaken - with one local politician saying it may now be safer for people to canvas in pairs.

Karen Davis, the Labour prospective parliamentary candidate for Norwich North, told BBC Radio Norfolk that the campaigners had been threatened with violence, with one reportedly told: "You have three seconds to get out of here before I hit you."

She said people "should be able to knock on doors without fear of violence".

"It makes me feel really sad because actually I want people to engage and I don't mind if people are Labour, Tory, Leave or Remain," she said.

"As a councillor I do case work for everybody, our case work isn't party political, but it is very difficult when there is a barrier that is very, very aggressive.

"I think we are going to have to start knocking on doors in pairs now."

A Norfolk Police spokeswoman said: "Police received a report at 4.30pm on Sunday, September 8 of two incidents in which there was a verbal altercation at two separate addresses in Norwich.

"One incident happened at a property in Tiercel Avenue and another at a property in Parana Court. Police are investigating."

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