Tory candidates suspended after Prescott visit fracas

TWO Tory local election candidates who disrupted a Labour campaign visit by John Prescott to Poplar yesterday have had their party membership suspended. Tory party bosses announced that they had launched an investigation. Pending the outcome, Martin Coxa

TWO Tory local election candidates who disrupted a Labour campaign visit by John Prescott to Poplar yesterday have had their party membership suspended.

Tory party bosses announced that they had launched an investigation. Pending the outcome, Martin Coxall and Paul Ingham - who are standing in East India and Lansbury ward - have been suspended from the Conservative party.

"We do not accept or tolerate aggressive behaviour while campaigning for this party," said a Tory Central Office spokesman.

The suspension was ordered by Eric Pickles, national party chairman, who twittered John Prescott in the aftermath of the incident, asking if he was OK.


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The former Deputy Prime Minister was due to meet voters in Chrisp Street market, with local parliamentary candidate Jim Fitzpatrick when hecklers appeared, wearing face masks.

Supporters kept them away from Prescott. One 46-year-old Labour member, also a council candidate, was punched in the stomach and a 61-year-old woman was knocked to the ground.

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According to police, one man was arrested at the scene and another a short time later. Both were questioned on suspicion of assault.

Two men have been bailed to appear before police in early May.

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