Politicians have called for action to support candidates who face discrimination after telling how they have been subject to death threats and intimidating behaviour.

Conservative MP Lee Scott told a parliamentary inquiry of his terror when campaigning for election in Ilford North after he suffered repeated anti-Semitic abuse.

“I had been out campaigning and was going back to my car when I was approached by two people who called me a dirty Jewish pig and said they were going to kill me,” he said.

In another incident he was shown a leaflet that included a photograph of him in a Synagogue and told MPs that perpetrators knew where he was going to be and when. Police were brought in and he was escorted by officers to one hustings.

Labour former minister Parmjit Dhanda told the inquiry on electoral conduct he questioned his involvement in public life.

The former MP said much was made of the fact he was a Sikh from London seeking election in Gloucester.

“People knew where we lived. I would get phone calls at three in the morning,” he added.

“After my election defeat, little kids – my youngest was about two, three, my eldest about four, five – like to play in the garden like most kids, but finding a pig’s head in the front drive, and I was too-ing and fro-ing a lot, working in London and back to the constituency, I had to think to myself ‘is this worth it?'”