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Conservative and Labour battle after allegations over vandalised poster went online


A week to go before the general election and a vandalised Conservative sign is removed in Formby. Sefton Central Conservatives have removed the sign yesterday afternoon, Thursday 1st June.

The billboard was erected in Formby on Liverpool Road next to the Royal Pub advertising Conservative candidate Jade Marsden. Last weekend, on Sunday 28th May. it was vandalised and strewn with graffiti. The words Conservative and Jade Marsden were painted over and replaced with the word Labour.

The incident sparked an angry reaction from Tory members.


According to Conservative Cllr Simon Jamieson, the incident is the latest in a series to have affected the party’s posters.


Although there is no suggestion that anyone officially involved with the Labour party is responsible for the attacks, he is calling on the Labour candidate, Bill Esterson, to do more to stop the incidents.


The Southport Visiter wrote that Simon Jamieson said: “I think it’s a disgrace that the vandals don’t respect democracy enough that we can promote our candidates and our campaigns."


“We would not dream of doing that to anyone because we have respect and, frankly, Bill Esterson should be ashamed to be associated with people who would do that. If I was to report it to the police, it would just be a wasting police time so well done."


Leader of the Conservative Group for Harington Ward, Cllr Denise Dutton said: "I really cannot understand the mindless vandalism which has recently taken place to the posters of our Conservative Party Parliamentary Candidate Jade Marsden, not only in Formby but across Sefton whilst not a single Labour party poster across the whole of Sefton has been interfered with."


"I would like to add though that a number of people have spoken, not only to myself but also members of the campaign team, expressing their disgust at such vandalism so it really hasn't done anybody any favours has it!"


"We rely on the public putting campaign posters up but, when we ask, they are frightened of being targeted, which has happened in the past."


Bill Esterson's agent, Maurice Byrne has since written a letter to the Conservative agent Simon Jamieson of which he said to date, he is yet to receive a reply.


Maurice said in the letter: "I expect you, as the Conservative Party agent, to ensure that all Tweets making allegations of criminal damage against Bill Esterson or his supporters are deleted immediately and that your statement to the Visiter online is also removed."


"I further expect a public statement on both the Sefton Conservatives’ Twitter and Facebook pages apologising for the false allegations made in these Tweets. Failure to comply with these requests will lead to legal action against you as the Conservative agent."


Central Conservatives, (@SeftCenCA ) on 29th May 2017 at 1.41pm, stated on Twitter:

“Will @Bill_Esterson and @UKLabour agree to pay for the damage to our 2 signs in Formby? Hundreds of pounds worth of damage”

Further tweets went on to say:

1 - “Well, @Bill_Esterson does have a history of doctoring signs.”

2 - “@Bill_Esterson will you at least condemn the criminal damage caused to the signs in Formby”

3 - “Meanwhile @Bill_Esterson does nothing to condemn any of the criminal damage carried out in his name.”

Cllr. Simon Jamieson, Agent and Campaign Manager for Jade Marsden said to Formby Bubble: "We are very disappointed that these expensive signs have been irreparably damaged. Local Conservative supporters would not dream of damaging Labour election material, we live in a democracy and everyone is entitled to their view."

"We have asked Labour to join us in denouncing this criminal damage, to no avail. We do not expect this behaviour anywhere, least of all in Formby"

"These signs cost over £100 each there has also been damage to private property in Aintree of several hundred pounds."


The eyes and one tooth of candidate Jade Marsden had been coloured in with graffiti

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