|Ealing Tories Claim Rupa Huq Involved in 'Political Stunt'|
Incident involving Labour candidate a 'regrettable situation'
Ealing Conservatives claim local Labour candidate, Rupa Huq, was involved in a 'political stunt' involving the London Mayor when accosted by local workers.
Recent footage shows Ms Huq challenging Mayor Boris Johnson, before a Conservative party activist thrusted leaflets in her face and another grabbed Ms Huq apparently attempting to pull her away.
The footage and pictures have caused outrage thoughout the Labour party and received an angry response on social media.
The prospective member for Ealing Central and Acton had been challenging Boris Johnson who was on the campaign trail with the Conservative candidate, Angie Bray, along Churchfield Road in Acton last Friday.
Ms Huq says she was on her own and heading back to her car at the time - having previously been campaigning in the same patch with her team.
She says she spotted Mr Johnson and wanted to question him about various issues which she'd previously raised with him in 2010.
When the footage was circulated, Angie Bray apologised - via twitter - and said she had asked the man, who has been named locally as Karim Sacoor, to step down from her campaign team.
Chairman of Ealing Central and Acton Conservative Association, Julian Gallant says: ''From speaking to witnesses I understand that during a walkabout with Boris Johnson and Angie Bray in Acton, the Labour Candidate appeared suddenly and pushed her way between Angie and Boris, forcing a female supporter into the road in the process.
''After trying to ask Boris several questions, and after a few minutes, she refused to move away and allow the walkabout to continue. It was a political stunt and only after several minutes did a Conservative supporter place his hands on Rupa Huq’s shoulders to encourage her to leave.
''At no point was she ‘dragged’ or assaulted, and when she reached the corner, she left Boris and his entourage entirely voluntarily. Nonetheless, this was a regrettable situation and we have apologised to Rupa Huq and have asked the supporter in question to stand down from the campaign team, which he has done.''
Ms Huq denies it was in any way a 'political stunt' and says she was on her own - with no party workers - and took the opportunity to question the Mayor: ''I didn't push my way in or force anyone into the road and was merely trying to talk to the London Mayor about a variety of issues. The local Conservative party clearly don't like debate and were trying to stop this anyway they could.
''We're running an active, positive campaign and will continue to do so regardless of the underhand tactics employed by the opposition.''
She added, "Angie Bray says she is sorry that I was grabbed and manhandled by her team, but then her Party says it was my fault I was slapped in the face by one of their Councillors. I think the pictures and footage of what happens speaks for itself and that the public will make up their own minds."
Nominations for Ealing Central and Acton Seat: Jon BALL - Lib Dems. Angie BRAY - Conservatives. Scott DORE - Workers Revolutionary Party. Peter FLORENCE - UK Independence Party (UKIP). Rupa HUQ - Labour. Tammy RENDLE - Above and Beyond. Andrzej RYGIELSKI - Europeans Party. Tom SHARMAN - The Green party
3rd May 2015