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Bailed Tory candidate resigns

The Tory candidate in a marginal seat resigned yesterday after he was bailed by police investigating allegations of harassment against political opponents.

The Conservative Party confirmed that Ian Oakley had stood down as parliamentary candidate for Watford, "following questioning about three offences" by Hertfordshire Police. The Liberal Democrats responded to the news by claiming their members in Watford had been subjected to "a sustained campaign of intimidation, vandalism and hate crimes" over the past three and half years.

Lib Dems in the constituency – a three-way marginal held by Labour – have complained of a series of actions, including vandalism, anonymous night-time phone calls and the circulation of leaflets falsely claiming that certain councillors and candidates were convicted sex offenders.