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'I would shoot you': Election candidate's death threat shock

PUBLISHED: 07:40 22 November 2019

A parliamentary candidate has spoken of his shock after alleging a man told him he would shoot him if he were successfully elected. Photo: Alex Broadway

A parliamentary candidate has spoken of his shock after alleging a man told him he would shoot him if he were successfully elected. Photo: Alex Broadway

Archant

A parliamentary candidate has spoken of his shock after alleging a man told him he would shoot him if he were successfully elected.

The Mid Norfolk seat at the general election is being contested by Steffan Aquarone (Liberal Democrats, left), Dr Adrian Heald (Labour, middle), George Freeman (Conservatives, right) and PJ O'Gorman (Independent). Picture: Alex Broadway/Supplied/ArchantThe Mid Norfolk seat at the general election is being contested by Steffan Aquarone (Liberal Democrats, left), Dr Adrian Heald (Labour, middle), George Freeman (Conservatives, right) and PJ O'Gorman (Independent). Picture: Alex Broadway/Supplied/Archant

Steffan Aquarone, Liberal Democrat candidate in Mid Norfolk, said he was campaigning in a village in his constituency when the incident occurred.

Norfolk Police confirmed Mr Aquarone had made a formal complaint about the incident and officers would be investigating.

It follows the launch of a police operation to protect candidates from abuse, after the 2016 murder of MP Jo Cox, including warnings not to canvass after dark.

Mr Aquarone said he was out knocking on doors and visiting businesses in the constituency, previously held by then-Conservative MP George Freeman on Wednesday, November 20.

He said the man "stopped what he was doing and stood up and looked at me and said 'Well, I think all politicians should be lined up and shot.'"

The candidate said: "I don't take aggressive behaviour seriously.

"I told him 'I don't agree with you but I have some sympathy with your frustrations and that's why I'm standing. I'm not actually one of them yet'."

And he alleged the man said in response: "'If you were I would shoot you'."

He added: "When he said that he was very serious looking, and I felt uncomfortable and left.

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"I was quite upset. It went from generally aggressive to personal.

"It's not a moral question, it's a criminal offence. It is shocking."

A spokesperson for Norfolk Police said: "We have received a formal complaint and it will be investigated by officers."

Mr Aquarone said police had a "very clear policy for threats to politicians" but he had declined to pursue the matter further.

"The tragic murder of Jo Cox is the ultimate crime," he added.

"There is a slippery slope in what society accepts as okay.

"What I'd really like to do is give him a chance to apologise.

The man who spoke to Mr Aquarone, who did not want to give his name, said the conversation was a private matter.

"He just asked me my opinion of the situation," he said.

"I just said you're all messing this country up and I don't like what you're doing.

"He asked me a question and I gave him an answer."

Mr Aquarone is running against Mr Freeman (Cons), Adrian Heald (Lab) and PJ O'Gorman (Ind).

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