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Councillor’s election placard damaged

A FORMER Swansea Council leader plans to get a new election placard after the one outside his house was pulled out and snapped.

“It will probably be a bigger one,” said Cllr Chris Holley.

He has CCTV footage of someone ripping out the placard at around 9.10pm on November 19 and plans to report the matter to police.

The Swansea Liberal Democrat leader said it was the first time it had happened during decades of involvement in local Government politics.

“It could be anything, but I have my suspicions,” he said. “I find it quite alarming.”

Cllr Holley, who is not standing in the general election, was watching Wales beat Hungary in the Euro 2020 decider on television at the time.

He said his daughter saw the placard was missing the following morning, and found it snapped nearby. Others in the vicinity, he said, hadn’t been damaged.

Cllr Holley, of Middle Road, Gendros, said he felt a “nasty” element had crept into politics for candidates and elected representatives of all parties.

He said social media trolling and the 2016 Brexit referendum had “soured politics right across the board”.

He said: “You don’t get elected to be abused.

“You can take criticism, and you don’t mind a debate. We have all got our different political views.

“But you don’t come into politics to be intimidated. It has got a little bit nasty and there is no need for it.”

Police forces across the UK are taking extra steps to ensure general election candidates are safe from attacks and abuse.

Candidates have been urged not to go knocking on doors while canvassing alone ahead of December 12 and not to dismiss abuse or threats without reporting them to police.

Speaking last week, Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: “Strong and varied views are the mark of a healthy democracy, but these should not cross the line into criminal abuse, harassment or disorder.”

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