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Edinburgh councillor attacked as he delivers local newsletters

Police are investigating the assault (PA)
Police are investigating the assault (PA)

An Edinburgh councillor who was grabbed by the throat and had his leaflet shoved down his shirt has pledged to be back out delivering his local newsletter.

Councillor Kevin Lang said he was “very shaken up” after he was confronted by a man “hurling verbal abuse” at him as he was delivering leaflets in his Almond ward at about 11.10am on Sunday.

“He then put his hand up to my throat and he then pushed the leaflet down the top of my shirt,” the leader of the council’s Lib Dem group said.

The attacker, as he was leaving, then continued to scream abuse at the councillor as the Lib Dem was walking away.

“In many ways it was over in seconds, it felt a lot longer but I’m sure it was merely a matter of seconds and I found it such a shocking incident.”

He said had become used to “insults” and “angry people” over the 25 years he had been involved in politics: “But I’ve never, ever had anyone put their hands on me before. And it was simply because I had been delivering my local newsletter.”

The councillor, who said Police Scotland were taking the attack “very seriously,” said: “I made the point of finishing my delivery. And I am going to be back out there because I’m incredibly proud of being a councillor.

“I’m not going to let anyone stop me from doing the job that I was tasked with doing.”

He added: “The risk is if this kind of abuse is tolerated that good people from different political wings don’t stand or even leave politics all together.

“That’s why if there is one thing all political parties should unite on it’s calling out this kind of abuse and working together to try and stop this from happening because this is not the Scotland that I know.”

Police Scotland said they had been made aware of the assault. “Inquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances,” the spokesman said.

Alex Cole-Hamilton, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, branded the attack as “completely unacceptable”.

“I’ve spoken with Kevin and this was a politically motivated assault by an SNP supporter,” he said.

“The guy in question can now explain his particular brand of civic and joyous nationalism to Police Scotland.”