Reform accuse police of failing to protect candidates from ‘attacks and threats’

Reform UK have accused the police of failing to protect their candidates from “attacks and threats” on the campaign trail.

The party claimed that one of their candidates was “robbed, punched and kicked”, while another was told to “go home” by police while leafleting.

In Falmouth, Reform have accused police of doing nothing in the two weeks since the party said a candidate was assaulted and robbed in a “hate crime” while out canvassing.

A person wearing a Reform UK rosette
Reform also claimed another candidate was told by police not to leaflet due to ‘potential danger’ of a pro-Palestine protest (Ben Birchall/PA)

Steve Rubidge, Reform UK candidate for Truro and Falmouth, said Devon and Cornwall Police had done “nothing” about reports of him being attacked and having his campaign material stolen and destroyed on June 15.

Mr Rubridge claims he provided police with pictures and “massive clues to the likely identities” of those involved.

He said: “Despite the fact I gave a statement just days after the attack and provided the police with pictures and enough information to identify them, an officer called me more than two weeks later for another statement on the incident on Sunday.”

Mr Rubidge, who says his “ligaments are still hurt” following the attack, asked: “So what have they been doing all this time?”

“This is an injustice and I call on the police to act immediately. Our streets are becoming lawless.”

A spokesperson for the Devon and Cornwall force said “police are still investigating the incident and enquiries remain ongoing”.

Reform are also claiming that their candidate for Newcastle upon Tyne East and Wallsend, Janice Richardson, was told by Northumbria Police officers not to leaflet due to “potential danger” of a pro-Palestine protest.

The party claims police declined to protect Ms Richardson from “the extremists” and instead advised her not to leaflet, which they said would be “poking the bear”.

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “We recognise the important role policing plays during an election period and as a force are committed to ensuring that all candidates are free to campaign without fear of violence or intimidation.”

A Reform UK spokesman said: “These incidents are deeply disturbing and suggest a total failure by the police to protect people exercising their God-given democratic rights.”