Election poster hit by arsonists

By Connie Osborne Thursday 22 May 2014 Updated: 23/05 09:06

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Buy photos » This UKIP poster has been one of three which has been vandalised in the borough. (s)

A CAMPAIGN poster for UKIP has been targeted by arsonists.

The poster on Ipsley Street, opposite the former Youth House, was set alight just before 9pm on Monday (May 19).

The fire service received three calls from concerned residents who saw the blaze and one crew from Redditch was sent to the scene. Firefighters used a hose reel to put out the flames.

It is not known if the poster was targeted because it was an advertisement for UKIP, but the party has come under fire recently for alleged racist comments from some of its candidates.

A spokesman for the Redditch branch of UKIP said it was not the first time one of the party’s posters had been defaced.

“It’s sad that anyone would bother to deface a sign. We have already had one defaced with spray paint, while another was also stolen,” he said.

“It’s an undemocratic attitude towards UKIP’s attempts to make itself publicly known in this town.

“It’s very puerile stuff.”

Voters went to the polls yesterday (Thursday) to have their say in this year’s European Parliament and Redditch Borough Council elections. The vacant seat on Worcestershire County Council following former councillor Martin Jenkins’ decision to quit in protest at UKIP’s stance on gay marriage was also being contested.

The rise of UKIP has made this year’s local elections among the most unpredictable in recent political history. The party are expected to gain at least one seat - with Winyates being the most likely - but has a strong chance in Astwood Bank & Feckenham and Headless Cross & Oakenshaw if they can entice enough support from disaffected Tory voters.

Labour will be hoping to strengthen its hold on the council by picking up seats lost to the Tories the last time they were contested while for the Conservatives it will be a case of damage limitation as the battle to hold on to the Parliamentary seat builds ahead of next year’s General Election.

The results of the borough council elections will be revealed today (Friday) and the Standard will be reporting from the count at the Town Hall. Follow the results as they come in on our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter @redstand and at www.redditchstandard.co.uk. See next week’s Standard for all the reaction to the results.

The outcome of the European elections will be announced on Sunday (May 25).

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