THE INCUMBENT MP for Basingstoke has labelled the use of political leaflets that look like newspapers "appalling".

Maria Miller, who is seeking re-election in this week's election, told the Gazette that the practice was "potentially misleading".

The Gazette previously reported how the Winchester branch of the Liberal Democrats posted political leaflets titled 'Mid-Hampshire Gazette' in an area covered by this newspaper.

Candidate Paula Ferguson previously refused to comment on the controversy.

Mrs Miller said: "I think it is absolutely wrong to try and use the name of a local newspaper for political ends.

"Nobody should be doing that and it is potentially misleading people, and it is wrong."

Last week, the News Media Association published an open letter to Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn and Jo Swinson, calling on all political parties to stop the "damaging practice" of making election campaign material look like local newspapers.

Liberal Democrat candidate for Basingstoke, Sashi Mylvaganam, previously denied knowledge of one iteration called the 'Midland Gazette' brought up by Green Party candidate Jonnie Jenkin at the Gazette's hustings, saying: "Never heard of it."

Gavin James, agent for Mr Mylvaganam, previously said: "The Liberal Democrats are keen to communicate their policies to as many voters as possible and printed material is a key part of this.

"In order to reach the widest audience possible, like all parties, we deliver our material in leaflets of various sizes and folds. "This will sometimes include printing in newspaper format."

He added that the Basingstoke Lib Dems were not planning any newspapers during this election.