VANDALS have targeted a by-election candidate by continually scrubbing his name off a poster in a community garden.

The election poster has been defaced four times - and each time it has been Adrian Hart's name that has been scratched out.

White Street Community Garden in Edward Street, Brighton, is on the border of Queen’s Park and Kemp Town wards where by-elections are taking place today for seats on the city council.

The poster listing the 11 candidates standing in the two wards has been subject to repeated attacks but just one name was damaged, Brighton and Hove Independent candidate Adrian Hart.

Mr Hart said: “It’s such a shame.

The Argus: Adrian Hart Bh Indy Queens Park 2023

"Amex Area Neighbourhood Action Forum and the garden team had just one intention – to let residents know of an election.

“But our response is the same as the tagging nearby. They come to vandalise again. We show up and repair. We don’t give up.

“Seems like our tenacity in repairing my scratched out name every time paid off – vandal gave up after four attacks.”

The attacks have dismayed all the candidates.

Liberal Democrat candidate for Kemp Town ward Robert Brown said he was disappointed by the repeated attacks.

He said: “Last year I had some of my posters defaced, removed and spoilt – it’s not helpful.

“One may disagree with people and policies, yet defacing items doesn’t solve that – debate does.”

Milla Gauge who is standing for Labour in Queen’s Park and Theresa Mackey, the party’s candidate in Kemp Town, said: “It’s sad a community group that have worked to promote democratic participation have had their work stifled.

“We love the rough and tumble of politics but there’s ways to engage that don’t involve vandalism.

“We’d encourage these vandals to debate the issues they seem to be upset about rather than resorting to damaging property.”

The Conservative candidate in Queen’s Park, Sunny Choudhury, said: “I personally think that we may have a difference of opinion but I do not see any logic or sense doing such acts.”

Kemp Town and Peacehaven Conservatives condemned the behaviour “outright”, saying: “We are fortunate enough to live in a thriving democracy, whereby we can vote for our preferred representatives. This is not in keeping with our democratic values.”

Brighton and Hove Green Party was contacted for comment.

Polling stations are due to open at 7am on Thursday and close at 10pm. Photo ID is required for those voting in person.

The count is due to take place on Sunday to coincide with the count for the Sussex police and crime commissioner election.