JUST two days before polling day for the May local elections, Tories in Trowbridge called out a Liberal Democrat candidate who they claim ‘pinched’ a leaflet left on a doorstep by a rival Independent.

Lib Dem candidate Jo Trigg, who was campaigning to win the Lambrok ward on Trowbridge Town Council as well as a seat on Wiltshire Council, stands accused of “disgusting behaviour” by removing her rival’s leaflet while posting her own through a resident’s letterbox.

Mrs Trigg has defended her actions saying she only removed the pamphlet to prevent it becoming litter on a windy day.

The leaflet had been mistakenly left on the doorstep of a home in Kingswood Chase after being read by the resident. It belonged to Independent, Paul Egan, who is also fighting to win the town council seat.

In a message to Mr Egan the woman, who does not wish to be named, said: “I just wanted to let you know that I was reading your leaflet yesterday and left it on my front doorstep by mistake.

“I’ve just had notification that someone was at my front door. I’ve looked and watched a woman posting something through my door then picking up the leaflet and taking it away with her.

“I’ve checked what was put through and it was from Jo Trigg. I think this is disgusting behaviour and thought you should know.”

Antonio Piazza, the Tory Group leader on Trowbridge Town Council, said: “Late into the election, it may not make a difference to the vote but I still think it’s shocking that an existing councillor and candidate has done this.

“A resident has kindly sent us a clip of Liberal Democrat candidate Jo Trigg taking an Independent candidate’s leaflet from a resident’s doormat. Jo was still happy to put her own leaflet through the door though!

“We are gobsmacked that attempts are being made to stifle democracy in the biggest local elections in history. This is unacceptable behaviour and destroys people’s trust in local councillors. This mocks everything we stand for as democratic country.”

In response, Mrs Trigg said: “I should not have removed a leaflet that was on the ground on private property but genuinely thought it had been dropped, risked him getting some grief and wanted to stop a friend from having any issues.

“I know how hard Paul has worked for the local community and in his town council campaign. I had even given him permission to use one of my photographs in his leaflet.”

Mr Egan said: “Jo and I have spoken about this following the resident bringing it to my attention. The resident told me they had mistakenly left the leaflet on their doorstep having taken it outside to read.

"Jo has assured me she was simply removing my leaflet because she thought it had fallen out during my deliveries saying she genuinely thought that on a windy day it would be seen as litter and risked giving me a bad name.

"My campaign has always been about doing what’s right for Lambrok. Jo and I have always worked well together and have a track history of collaborative and positive delivery of initiatives to help Lambrok residents. I believe Jo told me the truth and wish to move on and avoid political point scoring."