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Vandals deface Hailsham LibDem HQ for the third time this year

October 21, 2019 10:35 PM
By Katrina Best
LibDem Hailsham HQ vandalised Oct 20 2019As detailed in a Sussex Express article today we were all shocked and saddened to hear that the Hailsham LibDem HQ was vandalised in the early hours of Sunday morning, the third such incident this year. Previously, paint was thrown at the building and the windows were also shot with a BB gun.
Wealden District Councillor Neil Cleaver, who lives nearby, said he returned home late on Saturday night following a Hailsham Bonfire Society meeting. "It was close to 1am when I walked home, and I passed right by the building and it was definitely not defaced at that time," said Cllr Cleaver, who was the first to spot the damage, which consisted of red and white paint that had been thrown across the windows and walls, the next morning around 8am when he was driving past. He immediately reported it to the police and took photos.
Hailsham Mayor Paul Holbrook expressed his deep dismay that this has happened again. "This is the third time this year, and it looks like the same people are responsible," he said. "It's exactly the same kind of thick gloss paint which is near impossible to clean off and it will also be costly to repair. Last time a group of us gave up an entire weekend to help repair the damage, clean and repaint and the building, and it was looking great." Mayor Holbrook says he's grateful the police are taking it seriously, and hopes an eye witness will come forward to help. "Unfortunately there's no CCTV nearby," he explains, "but since we have such a narrow timeline we're hoping someone saw something so the police can finally catch the culprits."
Chris Bowers, the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Wealden, commented, "On Saturday we had a million people on the streets of London protesting peacefully for a people's vote on the Brexit deal. When there was a tiny bit of angry jeering at Jacob Rees Mogg, who had his son with him, Jo Swinson spoke up against the heckling, saying 'we have to disagree well'. That admirable sentiment has now been defaced with a vandal's paint. People can disagree with the Lib Dems' stance on anything, but an attack like this on Liberal Democrat property is an attack on democracy, and none of us should tolerate it, whatever our views on Brexit or anything else may be."

Dozens of constituents (of all political persuasions and none) took to social media today to express their shock and outrage, and to condemn those responsible. Whatever the vandals' motivation, it has likely backfired. As Councillor Neil Cleaver later tweeted: "When we disagree with other viewpoints, we challenge with debate. That's democracy. I guess when you have no argument you resort to vandalism. Looks like we're winning the debate."
Hailsham LibDem HQ vandalised Oct 20 2019