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Election violence in Britain

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.thisislondon.com/news/articles/18389367?source=Evening%20Standard# Tory KO d in Labour scrap By Kiran Randhawa, Evening Standard 5 May 2005 Four
    Message 1 of 1 , May 5, 2005
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      http://www.thisislondon.com/news/articles/18389367?source=Evening%20Standard#

      'Tory KO'd in Labour scrap'
      By Kiran Randhawa, Evening Standard
      5 May 2005

      Four Tory activists today claimed they were punched,
      kicked and verbally abused in a clash with Labour
      rivals while canvassing commuters.

      One supporter of Romford Conservative candidate Andrew
      Rosindell was knocked unconscious and taken to
      hospital.

      The fracas took place outside Romford rail station
      during rush hour yesterday evening as Labour and Tory
      campaigners leafleted commuters. According to
      witnesses the two camps traded insults before coming
      to blows.

      Mr Rosindell said one of his supporters, Romford
      student Robert Benham, 23, was hit first after
      exchanging angry words with a Labour supporter.

      Tory activists said they were punched when they tried
      to intervene. Police and an ambulance were called and
      Mr Benham was taken to Old Church Hospital, Romford,
      where he was being treated for minor head injuries.

      Mr Rosindell said: "As soon as the punching began, a
      Labour supporter walked towards me. I was pulled away
      by one of my campaigners and ran into the station
      behind a barrier. It was very scary. They just went
      berserk." Tory campaigner Peter Marks, 16, said:
      "About four Labour supporters grabbed Robert by the
      throat. A couple of us jumped in to help and were
      attacked. I took a picture with my phone for police
      evidence.

      "Three guys punched me in the stomach twice, shouting,
      'Give up the phone.' They grabbed it and deleted my
      pictures. I'm shaken and shocked."

      Tim Schmidt, 20, an American student intern at Mr
      Rosindell's office, said: "One [Labour activist] had a
      loudspeaker and was insulting Andrew. He leaped on one
      of our campaigners and started choking him. I was
      punched in the face twice by another man."

      Romford police later released a man without charge in
      relation to the attack. Labour party officials in the
      area were unavailable for comment.
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