A UKIP candidate has told how she was shoved and kicked after trying to stop an irate passer-by vandalising her political stall.

Linda Reid, secretary of the Brighton and Hove branch of Ukip, had been promoting the political party when the incident took place.

She said she and fellow Ukip members were packing up in George Street, Hove, on Saturday afternoon, when a man attacked the stall.

Ms Reid, a Ukip member since 1999 and a prospective city council candidate for Brunswick and Adelaide, was left shocked and bruised after the incident.

She said: “We were packing up near Greggs and I just saw this guy rip into the table and kick it into the air.

“I naturally ran towards him shouting at him to stop. In the struggle, he tried to march off with our boards and barge past me. I was behind him and I think he was trying to put his foot through the board.

“I was bruised, kicked and shoved about in the scuffle.

It all happened because I confronted him. At the time I was running with adrenalin but I was really shocked afterwards.

“It all happened very quickly. Quite what the guy’s intentions were I don’t know – he didn’t speak throughout the whole incident.”

Ms Reid, who reported the incident to police, said it is not the first time that Ukip candidates have received a hostile reception while canvassing in Brighton and Hove.

Ms Reid said: “We might be standing with one of our ethnic or gay candidates and we’ll still be called racists and every obscenity under the sun. Particularly in Brighton, with its hard left-leaning, it’s difficult to overcome the perception.

“It’s always in the more affluent, metropolitan Labour and Green-supporting areas where we get the really unpleasant receptions.

“People will come out of their houses and start shouting abuse at us. Even as a woman, you really feel it could get physical.

“We get a much better reception in places like Hangleton and Portslade.”

Ukip members were jeered and abused at a meeting in Hove in May, while another protest against the party, organised by Unite Against Fascism, backfired after its activists mistakenly abused blood donors as fascists after thinking they were Ukip members.

The party, whose leader Nigel Farage is a South East MEP and has an office in Littlehampton, is understood to be targeting East Worthing and Shoreham as a possible Ukip seat in the next general election.

The party has ten seats at West Sussex County Council, including Lancing, and seven at East Sussex, including Peacehaven and Telscombe Towns – but none in Brighton and Hove City Council.