Page last updated at 14:25 GMT, Sunday, 20 July 2008 15:25 UK

Tory quits after harassment claim

Ian Oakley
Ian Oakley stood down after being arrested over harassment claims

The Tories' general election candidate in Watford has quit after he was arrested over claims of harassment, party leader David Cameron has said.

Ian Oakley resigned on Saturday as police investigated complaints of nuisance calls and vandalism directed at local Liberal Democrats.

Mr Cameron confirmed the resignation but refused to comment further.

A Hertfordshire Police spokeswoman said a 31-year-old man from West Drayton was arrested on Friday.

Speaking on BBC One's Andrew Marr show, Mr Cameron said: "As I understand it, the candidate has resigned.

"We are going through some legal proceedings and so I don't think it would be right to comment further, but basically he has resigned as the candidate."

Further inquiries

Mr Oakley was arrested on damage and harassment offences before being released on police bail without charge, pending further inquiries.

The police spokeswoman said the alleged victims were local members of a national political party.

Labour MP Claire Ward managed to hold Watford by a slim majority of 1,148 over the Liberal Democrats in the 2005 general election.

The constituency is one of the few areas in the UK where there is a three-way split in votes between the major parties, making it a target seat for both the Lib Dems and Conservatives.


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