An MP has described claims that he has the deaths and injuries of victims of road traffic accidents on his conscience as "unsubstantiated, ill informed, and grotesquely offensive".

Leader of East Sussex County Council Peter Jones made the comment about Lewes MP Norman Baker during a question and answer session at a full council meeting.

Conservative Coun Jones was asked by Coun John Garvican, Tory for Alfriston, East Hoathly and Hellingly, if he backed proposals to turn the A27 between Polegate and Lewes into a dual carriageway.

He said he backed the plans and, referring to Mr Baker, said: "As I always say every time someone is killed or maimed on that road - that member of parliament ought to examine his conscience."

Coun Jones later told The Argus: "He has consistently opposed the dualling as part of his opposition to motorists and cars."

He claimed Liberal Democrat Mr Baker's opposition to proposals for bypasses around the A27 had resulted in the Government refusing to fund changes to the highway.

He claimed Mr Baker went behind councillors' backs by objecting to the scheme.

In 2003, the Government rejected proposals for a bypass on the A27 around Selmeston and Wilmington.

Coun Jones called for a dual carriageway to run across the South Coast through Sussex and for transport links to be improved.

Mr Baker, who was not present at the meeting on Tuesday (May 22), responded angrily to the comments.

He told The Argus: "It's pretty despicable to try and make political capital out of people's deaths."

He said there was no evidence to suggest that a dual carriageway would reduce the number of accidents on the road.

Mr Baker said: "He should examine the facts rather than make unsubstantiated, ill informed and grotesquely offensive comments."

He added: "I have always supported a by-pass for Selmeston.

"I am flattered that he thinks I alone can stop these things.

"It doesn't say much about their lobbying power."

Last month, The Argus reported the deaths of two young women in a traffic accident on the A27 between Lewes and Polegate.

Residents living near the road has labelled it "death mile."

There have been 13 people killed in road accidents on the A27 between Lewes and Polegate since 2001.

In April, campaigners started an online petition to the Prime Minister calling for a dual carriageway to be built.

Do you think a dual carriageway should be built between Polegate and Lewes? Have your say below.