THE INCUMBENT MP for North East Hampshire has said that Parliament “can look at” the use of newspapers as political leaflets.

Ranil Jayawardena said that people are “smart enough” to be able to tell the difference between newspapers and political communication.

Speaking to the Gazette at the count for his constituency on election night, Mr Jayawardena said: “Certainly I have, in this election, branded all of my communications with my name, I am prepared to stand on my record.

“I know the Liberal Democrats in Winchester were doing that in our neck of the woods and the Basingstoke Gazette called it out and that is of course your right.

“In a free election, it is up to people to do what they believe is right.”

When asked whether the next Parliament will look at banning the practice, Mr Jayawardena said: “It is something that Parliament can look at of course.”

It comes after incumbent MP Kit Malthouse for North West Hampshire told the Advertiser last week that he agreed the newspapers were 'appalling' and 'dangerous to democracy'.

The incumbent MP for Basingstoke Maria Miller also spoke out against the use of fake local newspapers earlier this week. 

It comes after the News Media Association wrote an open letter to Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn and Jo Swinson, calling on the practice to end.