LABOUR'S Warrington South candidate Faisal Rashid has condemned ‘public harassment and intimidation’ by people he claims are Tory-supporting activists.

He said the tactics were used during shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry’s visit to Warrington last Friday.

But the claims have been denied by campaigners, who say Labour supporters were responsible for ‘poking’ pro-Brexit campaigners with umbrellas.

Mr Rashid says a group of Tory activists ‘shoved and jostled’ Labour supporters who had gathered to welcome the shadow foreign secretary.

The politician claims a Labour supporter was punched by one of the group.

He also said the activists included the leader of the Warrington 4 Brexit campaign group.

Mr Rashid urged Tory Warrington Andy Carter to publicly condemn the tactics used.

He said: “During my time as MP for Warrington South, I have tried my best to remain as open and accessible as possible.

“I met with Warrington 4 Brexit to listen to their views, and while we did not agree on much, I am always committed to having a fair and respectful exchange of views with everyone.

“I am therefore saddened that these activists have since embarked on an unpleasant campaign of public harassment and intimidation.

“Despite them urging ‘respect for democracy’, these tactics are neither respectful nor democratic.

“It is not right that these events must be organised in secret for fear of right-wing activists turning up to cause trouble and harass attendees.”

In a statement, Warrington 4 Brexit said the counter-demonstration carried out at the Skittles in the town centre was not authorised or carried out by Conservatives in Warrington South.

It added: “It was a demonstration by four female members of the Warrington 4 Brexit group, who at one stage were joined by a male passer-by who offered to hold up a Warrington Voted Leave poster.

“At no time did Warrington 4 Brexit members jostle or punch any of the Labour supporters, on contrary, Labour supporters poked the four Warrington 4 Brexit ladies with umbrellas and attempted to grab and throw on the ground their Warrington Voted Leave posters.

“Warrington 4 Brexit is not a group of right-wing activists – in fact, three of the four ladies at the counter-protest were formerly Labour supporters and voters, who have abandoned Labour partly because of Labour’s stance on Brexit.”

A spokesperson for the Conservatives said: “Everyone has the right to express their views in a sensible and rational manner, we do not condone any form of harassment, violence or intimidation and any allegations should be reported accordingly.

“We understand that Warrington 4 Brexit are a cross-party group who’ve campaigned since the referendum.

“Some members may choose to support the Conservatives at the forthcoming election, others may vote for different parties, but to link Warrington 4 Brexit to ‘the far right’ simply demonstrates how out of touch Labour have become.”