A general election candidate says she will only attend advertised public events with security guards to ensure she can “go home alive”.

Caroline Nokes is standing for the Conservative party in Romsey and Southampton North, a seat she has represented since its creation in 2010.

She says she was criticised by a constituent after Home Office security was present at a hustings event at Burgess Road Library, Bassett on Sunday.

Ms Nokes says it left her “stunned”.

It comes less than a month after Southampton man Liam McCarthy was jailed for sending threatening emails to Ms Nokes between May 2022 and March 2023.

He called her “evil” and a “liar”, before becoming threatening and also stating he would become violent, and kill, members of the Department for Work and Pensions.

The hustings event on June 16 (Image: Newsquest)

A victim impact statement from Ms Nokes read to the Southampton Crown Court said: “I'm scared he will turn up at my home or office.

“I spend a great deal of time worrying about personal security. I'm vigilant of people approaching me in the street. I'm worried he will take violent action.

“I constantly look over my shoulder.”

In a letter from her campaign, Ms Nokes said: “In case anyone missed it, there is currently an individual serving a prison sentence for harassing me, and he is just the tip of the iceberg. 

SEE MORE: Romsey candidate Caroline Nokes scared for general election candidates

“This election I have had people (men) issue ultimatums to me that I have to withdraw my candidacy, “or else”, telling me to “watch my back” and a range of profanities that have no place in the Romsey Advertiser. 

“So no, I don’t like doing pre-advertised public events, yes, if I do them I will have “burly men” in attendance to make sure that I go home alive. What a state our democracy has come to when that looks like it is becoming the norm for female candidates.”

McCarthy, 33, of Copperfield Road, is currently serving seven months in prison having pleaded guilty to two counts of harassment.

The candidates in Romsey and Southampton North are: Paul Barrett (Reform UK), Geoff Cooper (Liberal Democrat), Christie Lambert (Labour), Caroline Nokes (Conservative), Connor Shaw (Green), Fennie Yap (Independent).