MEMBERS of a local branch of the Labour Party have welcomed the end of a magistrates court trial into an alleged assault almost a year ago.
Secretary of the Havant Constituency Labour Party (HCLP), Philip Munday said the verdict on Friday will give his party a chance to ‘move on’ – 364 days after an argument at a routine meeting allegedly turned ‘anarchic’.
Chairman of the bench Nick Mansfield found Anthony Martin not guilty after determining a lack of evidence to support a claim he had carried out an assault by beating, on fellow party member Michael Evans.
Mr Munday, a former teacher, said he was ‘pleased’ with the trial’s outcome and that violence is ‘completely the wrong way’ to deal with political differences.
‘The Labour Party is a democratic party so we don't always agree about everything,’ said Mr Munday.
‘But we discuss those things, and I think it's healthy we disagree about some things and deal with them in a calm way.
‘Now this trial is over, the Labour Party can move forward together to be more effective in local politics.’
Mr Munday said he was unsure of the future plans of Anthony Martin and Michael Evans, but said the incident and its subsequent trial had ‘clouded over them’ since it took place.
Speaking after the verdict, Mr Evans said he was ‘devastated’ and would seek further legal action.