Police called to polling station fracas at Tower Hamlets polling station, off Brick Lane

Police were called to a Tower Hamlets polling station today after a candidate alleged he was threatened by activists from rival parties.

Chris Smith, standing for the Greens in the London Assembly elections, claimed an activist threatened to “punch his lights out” when he complained about a crowd handing out leaflets outside St Matthias Primary, in Bacon Street, off Brick Lane.

Mr Smith said: “I came down here this morning and there were at least 20 activists handing out leaflets just outside. Election rules state very clearly that each party is only allowed one teller outside each polling station, the rest must be a safe distance away.

“I complained to the official inside and when I came back out this guy started mouthing off to me. When I told him what they were doing is not allowed, he threatened to punch my lights out.”

A spokeswoman for Tower Hamlets Police said: “We’re investigating an incident outside one of the borough’s polling station. Officers were called at around 9:55am today to reports of a disturbance outside the station at St Matthias Primary School. On arrival, the alleged suspect had left the area and inquiries continue.”

A spokeswoman for the council added: “We understand the Police have dealt with an issue outside a polling station in Brick Lane this morning. The Police deal with public order offences, including issues outside polling stations, and we are pleased that this incident has been resolved quickly and peacefully”