Page last updated at 16:35 GMT, Friday, 30 April 2010 17:35 UK

Sefton Central Tory candidate billboards defaced

Deborah Jones
Mrs Jones had one of her posters defaced in the 2005 election

Police are hunting vandals who defaced Conservative Party campaign billboards in a Merseyside constituency.

Posters in Crosby, Hightown and Thornton were targeted with swearing and obscene comments about Sefton Central candidate, Deborah Jones.

Mrs Jones, who also had posters vandalised during the 2005 election, described the action as "dreadful".

All of her rival candidates in Sefton Central have condemned the action. Merseyside Police is investigating.

'No finger-pointing'

Speaking during a debate on BBC Radio Merseyside, Mrs Jones said: "I put all my posters up and they have been defaced.

"There has been foul language, four-letter words, sexual innuendo - all of that sort of thing.

"I think it says more about who is doing it than about the Conservative Party. I'm not going to point any fingers."

If you are out there, I don't want your vote OK?
Bill Esterson, Labour candidate

Police confirmed they had received reports of un-witnessed criminal damage to election signs, and appealed for witnesses.

Bill Esterson, the Labour candidate for Sefton Central, said: "There is no place in British politics for this kind of behaviour and frankly I wouldn't want anybody to vote for me who believes that is the right way to go.

"So if you are out there, I don't want your vote OK?"

'Unacceptable'

Liberal Democrat candidate Richard Clein added: "Quite clearly that sort of behaviour is unacceptable. There is absolutely no doubt about that and I'm sure all the candidates agree.

"I have got several posters across the constituency also - none have been defaced - and I hope that it remains that way."

UKIP's Peter Harper added: "Obviously anyone would condemn such behaviour. It's really symptomatic of the stifling of free speech in this country."

Candidates announced for Sefton Central are: Lib Dem: Richard Clein; Labour: Bill Esterson; UK Independent Party: Peter Harper; Conservative: Deborah Jones.



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