BASINGSTOKE'S prospective Labour candidate at the next general election has hit back after being accused by a Tory councillor of making phoney claims about being the only local candidate.

Senior Conservative borough and county councillor Phil Heath said a leaflet distributed around Black Dam in Basingstoke included the claim from Paul Harvey, Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate.

He said: "It is foolish putting this out because our candidate Maria Miller lives in Ellisfield. Now the Labour Party might not think Ellisfield, or the rural areas, are part of Basingstoke, but the UKIP candidate has also lived in Basingstoke longer than Paul Harvey.

"This has been a theme in several of Paul Harvey's leaflets. It would be nice to have some sort of accuracy in the literature going out."

In the leaflet Cllr Heath passed as a photocopy to The Basingstoke Extra, Mr Harvey - who is also a borough councillor - says: "I'm the only local candidate, I'm here working hard for local people in Basingstoke."

Cllr Heath raised the question of leaflets at a meeting of the full borough council. Holding the photocopy up inside an envelope, because election literature is not permitted at council meetings, he said he was disappointed there was no official means of dealing with inaccurate election literature.

Mr Harvey, who lives in Black Dam, told The Basingstoke Extra that the leaflets referred to by Cllr Heath were accurate at the time they were produced but had since been amended.

He said: "There are other local candidates now. But I've worked in Basingstoke for about four years and it is my home and it was before I became a parliamentary candidate.

"I was being up-front about the fact I care about the local community. I would ask, however, whether other candidates consider themselves to be local."

He said a forthcoming newspaper-style leaflet would describe him as "a local candidate".