Former councillor says he received death threat at polling station

A former Conservative councillor who said he received '˜death threat' at a polling station this afternoon '˜will not stop standing up for the people'.

Vino Vinojan was allegedly subject to death threats at a polling station. Picture: Kate Shemilt
Vino Vinojan was allegedly subject to death threats at a polling station. Picture: Kate Shemilt

Vino Vinojan was Worthing Borough Councillor for Central ward before stepping down to launch an unsuccessful bid for a West Sussex County Council seat in this year’s election.

Today, he was at the polling station at Tarring Priory Bowls Club, in Church Road, Tarring, as a teller – an unofficial pollster and political activist.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Mr Vinojan said he was stood outside the bowls club at around 1.30pm when a man who came to vote allegedly became ‘very abusive’ towards him, swearing at him and using ‘all sorts of language’.

According to the former councillor, the man then pointed at him and said: “What happened to Jo Cox will happen to you”.

Mr Vinojan, who runs a newsagents in South Street, Tarring, said: “I was shocked and really felt threatened and I was in fear for my personal safety and my professional security.”

Both he and the presiding officer at the polling station called the police, according to Mr Vinojan, but by the time they arrived the man had left. The former councillor said the police called him later this afternoon to confirm the man had been arrested. He did not believe the abuse was racially motivated.

Mr Vinojan said while he would have to tighten security for his business, it would not deter him from pursuing his political ambitions: “It is unacceptable behaviour like this we will not tolerate. I will not stop standing up for the people. I will stand up for the people no matter what.”

Since the incident was first mentioned on social media, dozens of people have spoken out in support of him, including some of his former council colleagues.

In response, Mr Vinojan said: “I am touched by all the support by the people that have said such nice, lovely words about me. I appreciate it all.”

Sussex Police has confirmed that there was an incident involving an individual at this location and that police were called.