Police have been branded a disgrace by a politician for failing to evict a group of travellers from private land.

A handful of travellers had been occupying land next to an empty unit on the Eastways Industrial Estate in Witham since Sunday.

Essex Police said they had “insufficient grounds” to evict the travellers, but the group left the estate on Tuesday following negotiations with officers.

MP Priti Patel said: “It is disgraceful that the police have stood by and let travellers occupy this site.

“This is not the first time this site has been targeted by travellers and businesses affected rightly expect the police to take robust action to move them on.

“Instead, we’ve seen police officers seem more interested in the rights of the travellers who have illegally occupied this site."

See today's Witham and Braintree Times for the full story