AN election candidate has been violently assaulted resulting in her needing medical treatment.

Carla Hales, Conservative candidate in the Colchester Council elections, was also subjected to verbal abuse in yesterday’s attack, the group’s leader said.

In a statement group leader Darius Laws said: “I am saddened and appalled to have learnt that earlier today one of our candidates, Carla Hales, standing in the upcoming Colchester Borough Council Elections, was verbally abused and violently assaulted.

“Carla sought medical treatment and is now recovering at home.

“This is the ugly side of politics and it is an attack not just on a Conservative but an attack on democracy.

"It is an attack on everyone who seeks to put their name forward to stand up for the communities, such violence and intimidation is utterly deplorable.

"I had hoped after the tragic murder of Jo Cox MP we might have learnt lessons about the way in which people with opposing viewpoints conduct themselves.

“I have asked the Police Commander for Colchester to ensure that this incident is investigated and the man responsible is brought to justice.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Appalled - Conservative group leader Darius LawsAppalled - Conservative group leader Darius Laws

Will Quince, the Conservative MP for Colchester, described the incident as “absolutely disgusting”, adding: “My thoughts are with Carla who is one of the loveliest most genuine people I know and is a first time candidate. I hope Essex Police bring the perpetrator to justice.”

Ms Hales is a candidate in New Town ward in next week’s elections.

Witham MP Priti Patel tweeted: "All best wishes to Carla following this utterly appalling & politically motivated violent assault.

"Politics is about people & public service. Carla is a credit to Colchester for seeking to represent & serve her community. Essex police must take action against the perpetrator."