Ex-Conservative parliamentary candidate Leah Fraser has won an apology from labour for misleading claims in a leaflet issued before the last General Election.

Cllr Darren Dodd has also paid the £3,500 legal costs of the former Wirral councillor.

In a leaflet distributed by the Labour Party in the Wallasey constituency, it was claimed that Leah Fraser was a supporter of fox hunting and saw this as a priority, over all other issues, including the economy.

Leah Fraser said: “This was completely untrue. It followed repeated claims on other issues – such as the future of sure start and the winter fuel payments – and that’s why I decided to act.

“Anyone who goes into politics expects some ‘rough and tumble’ but to basically make up claims about your opponent crosses the line and Cllr Dodd’s solicitors recognised that. "I believe my views were distorted in order to give Labour electoral advantage.

“The electorate has a right to know the views and opinions of candidates asking for their vote. Labour’s campaign in Wallasey misled the electorate over this issue and I am pleased that they have finally apologised to me.”

In his letter to Leah Fraser, Cllr Dodd said: “We accept that this was a completely unfounded submission.

"To imply that you would campaign for repeal of the fox hunting ban was both misleading and highly offensive and we can only hope that you will accept our sincere and unreserved apologies.

“We solemnly undertake not to repeat the aforementioned defamatory statements or make any further statements whether in print, electronic form or otherwise of this nature in the future.”

As part of the settlement, the Labour Party will also print a statement retracting their remarks in a leaflet to be delivered in the constituency.

Wirral Labour group deputy leader Cllr Phil Davies said: "This has been dealt with by Labour Party lawyers nationally and I have no further comment to make."