The Conservative MP in their local area has accused the Green party candidate and his mother of stalking and they have both been apprehended.
Chris Hallam, aged 48, and his mother, Christine, aged 76, who used to work as teachers in Buxton, Derbyshire, were taken into custody in September following allegations made by Robert Largan, the MP for High Peak, that they were harassing and stalking him.
They have been released on bail and are prohibited from approaching within 50 meters of him, three of his employees, and within five meters of his workplace.
In May, Chris Hallam ran as a Green party candidate for the High Peak borough council elections. Ultimately, he was defeated by a Labour party contender and a Conservative party contender.
He is the Green party campaign coordinator for High Peak and states that he is unable to fulfill his responsibilities due to strict bail restrictions following his arrest.
The Hallams claim that their sole offense was attending every one of Largan’s district gatherings, despite being blocked by the MP on Facebook. They also assert that they simply wanted to inquire about topics related to both their community and the country.
In September, Largan contacted the police regarding the Hallams, after having sent them a “cease and desist” letter on July 7th. The letter informed them that their actions, such as attending constituency surgeries in High Peak despite being asked not to and exhibiting aggressive behavior, were deemed unacceptable.
The correspondence stated that despite being advised by Derbyshire police not to attend my surgeries in person, the behavior persisted.
Largan instructed them to cease “all such actions” immediately, stating: “I am of the belief that your actions have led to harassment, alarm, and distress for both myself and my employees on multiple occasions.”
He cautioned them that if they disregarded the letter, he may involve the police and stated that they could bring up concerns about constituency matters by sending a letter or email to him.
Hallam acknowledged that he and his mother disregarded the letter and showed up to meet Largan at a Morrison’s supermarket branch in September. Upon arrival, he claimed that two PCSOs and security guards from Morrison’s prevented them from speaking with the MP.
According to a post on social media by Hallam, he attempted to attend a surgery outside of Largan’s office in Whaley Bridge on September 15th. However, the surgery was cancelled for security reasons and a sign was posted on the door.
Hallam stated that he was taken into custody a couple of days after, specifically on September 19th. He was then placed in a holding cell and questioned for three hours before being released on bail.
His mother took action by personally visiting Largan and shared on social media her intention to attend a surgery in New Mills. Hallam stated, “She wanted to inquire about the situation.”
The next day, she was also taken into custody for allegedly harassing Largan. She was released on bail with the same requirements. It is believed that they have been stalking the Member of Parliament by recording him, trailing him to his vehicle, and causing disruptions during his office hours, resulting in other constituents avoiding the area.
Hallam has acknowledged that he used to secretly record their meetings and post summaries on his Facebook page. He also openly recorded one meeting using a GoPro bodycam.
Hallam informed the Guardian that he intends to take legal action against Largan for discriminating against his political beliefs. He explained, “My mother and I belong to different parties than him, and it is evident that he is targeting us because our political views differ from his.”
He maintains that he has not committed any offense, and as he awaits a decision on whether or not he will be charged, he requests for the bail conditions to be lifted so he can continue his campaigning for the Green party.
Hallam, the campaign coordinator for the High Peak Green party, stated that he has a lot of events to attend and limiting his attendance would greatly harm the local democratic process.
A representative from Largan’s office stated that individuals from all political beliefs are encouraged to attend Mr. Largan’s regular help and consultation sessions. This includes Green party council members who have previously attended and are always welcome to do so in the future.
Ever since his election, Mr Largan has been dedicated to serving his constituents, going above and beyond to help them. He has taken on more than 50,000 individual cases for local residents and continues to hold weekly help and advice sessions without requiring appointments, even in the wake of Sir David Amess’s tragic murder, despite security warnings.
“This unfortunate situation is not related to any political party and is solely focused on a continuous and unpleasant campaign of harassment.”
The Green party refused to provide a statement.
The Derbyshire police reported that a man in his 40s and a woman in her 70s were arrested for allegedly stalking someone. The individuals have been released on police bail while the investigation continues.