Election candidate Wajad Burkey suspends campaign after leafletters beaten by armed gang in Sutton Coldfield

A gang 'armed with a baseball bat and machete viciously attacked' leafletters, including a relative, of a General Election candidate who were out canvassing in Sutton Coldfield. Wajad Burkey has now suspended his campaign and said he fears for his own life after the shocking incident.

One man was beaten and left with head injuries in the brutal attack. Police are now hunting the culprits. The attack took place while three people were canvassing in Beaconsfield Road, Sutton Coldfield, on Sunday evening.

Mr Burkey, representing the George Galloway-fronted Workers Party in Sutton Coldfield, told BirminghamLive: “[They] were leafleting for me when a gang of eight men turned up with baseball bats and machetes - they started beating [them up]. [One] has head injuries and is now in Heartlands hospital.”

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As a result of the shocking incident, Mr Burkey said: “I have suspended my campaign as I am fearful frankly for my life.”

James Giles, who is standing in Hodge Hill and Solihull North for the Workers' Party and who is helping coordinate local campaigns, described it as a heinous attack and an affront to democracy. "I hope candidates from all parties will immediately condemn this heinous attack and the police use the full force of the law to bring the perpetrators to account.”

In a statement police said they were investigating the incident which occurred at approximately 7.20pm on Sunday 30th June. "A man was attacked by a group of people armed with weapons on Beaconsfield Road, Sutton Coldfield, on Sunday. Around eight people arrived on motorbikes and cars before attacking the man with a baseball bat. A knife was also produced during the attack.

"The victim was left with an injury to the back of his head and went to hospital for treatment. We are examining CCTV and carrying out other enquiries."

Candidate Mr Burkey is a businessman, originally from Pakistan, and human rights activist. He also leads the charity Global Relief International. Anyone with information has been asked to get in touch via Live Chat or 101, quoting 20/630300/24.