POLICE are investigating after graffiti was scrawled across the front of Hoylake Town Hall last night bearing the slogan: "McVey Murderer."

With the general election campaign now officially underway, the leader of Wirral Council Conservative group said he was ''shocked and appalled'' by the incident and that the "misogynistic bullying'' of Esther McVey should be brought to an end.

The Wirral West MP and employment minister has been the subject of several personal slurs in recent weeks.

A Labour MP refused to apologise for quoting a constituent who called for Ms McVey to be "lynched" and went on to brand her a "stain of inhumanity."

The town hall has not been in use as a civic building for many years and now houses the area's JobCentre Plus office.

Tory group leader Cllr Jeff Green described the graffiti as "a disgusting new low" and said he feels Ms McVey is being targeted for abuse because of her gender.

"It just shows the depths to which some people will sink," he said.

"I am sure the Labour Party will want to disassociate itself from such appalling behaviour.

"I believe we are starting to see a misogynistic element to these continued attacks on Ms McVey.

''It's nothing short of bullying and I think it is at least in part because she is a woman.

"It's all a bit sick, quite frankly."

Moreton councillor Chris Blakeley, who works for the MP, said: "This is beyond politics.

"A line has been crossed here. When you get to this level, you really are in the pits.

"I hope the police find whoever did this because quite honestly, they need help, they're sick.

"No other MP in the whole country is being subjected to this sort of hatred.

"I agree with Cllr Green that it does appear to be taking on a  very unpleasant misogynistic angle."

Councillor Blakeley said he will be alerting the local authority to have the graffiti removed.

Labour councillor Matthew Daniel said: “It was the Labour Party who reported this act of vandalism to the council.

"The Labour council leader got on to the graffiti action team straight away.

“We do not - and we never will - condone vandalism, especially of a personal nature.

"Such acts are against our values and to suggest otherwise is wrong.

“If the Tories are trying to imply this had anything to do with the Labour Party, they need to be very careful about making wild and unfounded accusations and we would expect them to apologise for any such allegations immediately.

“The Tories should have taken action and reported the graffiti straight away instead of trying to score low political points."

A spokesman for Merseyside Police said the district's neighbourhood inspector has been informed of the incident and is making inquiries.

Ms McVey recently distanced herself from negative campaigning.

Questioned on ITV’s Loose Women about Tory Party YouTube ads attacking the Labour leader, Ed Miliband, she said: “I don’t do that, I don’t personalise anything. I believe in policy.”

She added: “Where I come from, from a very different point of view – it’s a Labour heartland, it’s a trade union heartland and I’ll have a very personal campaign against me there.

"So I don’t believe in that at all.”