Tories and UKIP in bust-up over ‘illegal’ posters

Sign of the times: Colin Mair submitted this photograph of what he says is an illegal poster near Coningsby
Sign of the times: Colin Mair submitted this photograph of what he says is an illegal poster near Coningsby

A war of words has erupted between two of the leading candidates in the fight to become Louth and Horncastle’s new MP.

UKIP contender Colin Mair has accused his Conservative rivals Victoria Atkins of putting posters and billboards promoting her campaign on County Council-owned land next to roads.

Mr Mair, who is a County Councillor, has supplied photographic evidence to back his case, saying it proves the Tories had in effect broken the law.

He says that had UKIP committed the same offence, they would “have had the book thrown at them.”

Mr Mair says he has reported the matter to the County Council while it is understood complaints have been made to the police.

However, a defiant Ms Atkins has hit back, denying she has done anything wrong.

She alleges many of her posters and billboards - put up by volunteers - has been vandalised.

She said Tory supporters also had evidence of someone specifically damaging a poster.

Ms Atkins said she was aware that ‘one small poster’ among hundreds put up was “in the wrong place.”

She added: “This is all part of the rough and tumble of an election campaign.”

She accused Mr Mair of “mischief making” and urged him to supply evidence of where the alleged ’illegal’ posters were.

Later, Mr Mair produced an email, reportedly sent by a member of the Ms Atkins’ staff campaign group and challenging his claims. He said the tone of the email was “threatening and intimidating.”