Police have released CCTV in a bid to find two masked figures spotted near the statue (Picture: SWNS/Lincolnshire Police)

A manhunt is underway for two masked suspects after a newly installed Margaret Thatcher statue was doused with red paint.

CCTV of the pair has been released after the £300,000 memorial in Grantham, Lincolnshire, was targeted for the second time in a fortnight.

Red paint was thrown at the 10ft high granite sculpture of the controversial former prime minister. Meanwhile the communist hammer and sickle symbol was painted on the surrounding fence.

Today Lincolnshire Police launched an appeal to track down two hooded suspects caught on camera during the incident on Saturday, May 28.

The 12 second footage shows the duo dressed in black and wearing face masks with one of them carrying something in a white carrier bag.

Investigators said: ‘The CCTV footage is not clear enough to show facial features, but we hope that the distinctive clothing, build, and gait of the individuals could help lead to identification.’

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Investigators are appealing to the public to help them track down the suspects (Picture: Lincolnshire Police)

On the day the controversial statue was installed, university worker Jeremy Webster, 59, threw eggs at it and was later fined £90 under Section 5 of the Public Order Act.

It has also emerged that the memorial was targeted for a third time yesterday – this time being covered in red, white and blue paint.

Police said someone approached the statue in St Peters Hill and threw something at it at around 3.37am.

This week South Kesteven District Council officially unveiled the statue at a £100,000 ceremony in the Iron Lady’s home town.

Council leader Kelham Cooke, said: ‘The memorial was paid for by public donations to the Public Memorials Appeal (PMA) and it is only right that they should have held a ceremony marking the completion of the project.

The Margaret Thatcher statue in Grantham, Lincolnshire, was targeted twice in two weeks (Picture: Grantham Journal/SWNS)

A red hammer and sickle was painted on the surrounded fence (Picture: Grantham Journal/SWNS)

The statue was vandalised for a third time yesterday, this time being splattered with red, white and blue paint (Picture: @ukrealnews/SWNS)

‘Following its installation on May 15 the memorial was expected to be a talking point and a focus for debate attracting a range of opinions, and that has proved to be the case.

‘Lady Thatcher polarised opinion in terms of her politics and her legacy but her achievement as Britain’s longest-serving Prime Minister of the 20th century and the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom should be recognised in her home town.

‘She was brought up and went to school in Grantham and I believe that having the memorial here will be a real positive for the town.

‘Attracting people to come here to look at the memorial and visit the exhibition about her in Grantham Museum will bring benefits for the local economy.’

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