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Conservative Party worker assaulted by man demanding to see his MP

PUBLISHED: 11:55 01 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:05 01 September 2017

South Norfolk Conservative Association's premises in Denmark Street, Diss. Picture: ANGELA SHARPE

South Norfolk Conservative Association's premises in Denmark Street, Diss. Picture: ANGELA SHARPE

Archant © 2009

A man demanding to see his Member of Parliament assaulted a Conservative Party worker when told he was not available, leaving her “upset and shaken”.

South Norfolk Conservative Association's premises in Denmark Street, Diss. Picture: ANGELA SHARPE South Norfolk Conservative Association's premises in Denmark Street, Diss. Picture: ANGELA SHARPE

The female victim was grabbed by her wrist during the incident, causing her to fall forward and hit her head on a louvre window, sustaining some cuts.

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The assault could lead to further questions about the security of MPs and their staff – but the chairman of South Norfolk Conservative Association (SNCA), where the incident happened, stressed it was important not to over-react and prevent people from meeting politicians.

The man arrived at SNCA’s offices in Denmark Street, Diss – which are shared with South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon – asking to see the parliamentarian.

Richard Bacon speaking at the How Norfolk Should Grow conference. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY Richard Bacon speaking at the How Norfolk Should Grow conference. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Mr Bacon, who has represented the constituency in the House of Commons since 2001, was not there and none of his staff were present in the office at the time.

The Conservative association worker offered to give the man a telephone number so he could contact Mr Bacon’s office.

“When she tried to give it to him, he grabbed her arm and pulled her,” said SNCA chairman David Goldson,

“She naturally fell forward and hit her head on the louvre window which was open, which cut her slightly.

South Norfolk Conservative Association chairman David Goldson. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY South Norfolk Conservative Association chairman David Goldson. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

“Obviously, she was upset and shaken but she was seen by the medics and was not hurt.”

The worker called Mr Goldson straight after the incident about around 1.50pm on Tuesday. August 29 to tell him what had happened.

A man aged in his 60s from the Diss area was later arrested for actual bodily harm (ABH) in connection with the incident and released under investigation by police.

Fears about the security of MPs and those working for them have been heightened since the brutal murder of Labour MP Jo Cox, who was stabbed and shot to death in her constituency last year.

Labour’s Stephen Timms was also stabbed in his constituency in 2010.

However Mr Goldson stressed that incidents of people attacking MPs and their staff are extremely rare.

This is the first time it has ever happened in South Norfolk, he said.

“Some people get a bit heated but not in my memory have we had any physical incidents,” he said.

“Fortunately, we’re in a part of the world where incidents like this are extremely rare.

“I know MPs have been made aware of the heightened security requirements.

“However no-one wants to stop members of the public coming to see their MP. It’s a balance, as with everything else.”

Anyone with information about the incident should contact PC Ryan Westrop at Norfolk Police on 101.

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