A Tory councillor has been targeted in an arson attack in what is believed to be the third such incident.
Graeme Campbell, 52, is said to be devastated after part of his home and two cars were left burnt out during the incident in Scotland.
Police cordoned off his property and forensic officers could be seen working inside.
A container, believed to have been a petrol can, lay melted in bushes nearby where the incident happened in Strathaven, Lanarkshire just after midnight on Saturday.
The councillor and his wife Fiona had been targeted on two earlier occasions but told by police that they had closed their investigations without making any arrests.
Previous attacks saw their cars destroyed and property badly damaged.
Police have now confirmed they are treating the latest blaze as ‘wilful’.
A neighbour said: ‘I was woken up by what I thought was fireworks being set off but when I went out this morning I couldn’t believe what had happened.
‘This is the third time he has been targeted and the people responsible need to be caught.
‘It is outrageous for a councillor to be targeted like this and have his family’s lives put in real danger.’
Scottish Conservative shadow community safety minister Russell Findlay said: ‘Councillor Campbell and his wife could have been killed in this disgusting and cowardly attack.
‘They are understandably devastated. These are decent, law-abiding people and it is the third time their home has been targeted.
‘I will be seeking assurances from the Scottish Government, Crown Office and Police Scotland that this attack is investigated to the fullest possible extent.
‘There must be zero tolerance towards any attack of this nature. Organised criminals prey on communities across Scotland. Fire is indiscriminate and even where the intent is to intimidate, it can kill.’
The previous attacks against Campbell, in May 2019 and August last year, were condemned as an attack on democracy and the matter was raised in Holyrood at First Minister’s Questions.
The councillor, who represents Avondale and Stonehouse, claimed he had been targeted over a case he had been working on as part of his role with the council.
He quit politics but returned to his role last year saying he would not take part in planning rows.
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: ‘Around 12.20am on June 19, we received a report of a fire at a property on Fortrose Gardens.
‘Emergency services attended and the fire was extinguished by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. No one was injured.
‘Enquiries to establish the circumstances of the fire, which is being treated as wilful, are ongoing.’
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