PETER Kyle has been branded a Scrooge for turning down a request for funds from his constituency party.

But the Hove MP said the request for £10,000, which officials said was to be spent on gazebos and flags, was “surprising”.

In his reply to Hove constituency party treasurer Becky Massey he wrote: “I note in your letter that the only two uses for this donation that you mention are a ‘gazebo and flags’.

“As these are the only two illustrations of what you intend to use the money for that must be your priority.

“Having checked the Argos website, I can see that with the money you have requested from me you could buy 166 gazebos and over 500 flags.

“I also note that the CLP has over £10,000 in its own bank account and the chair, at the last general meeting, told delegates that ‘we’re doing very well for money.’”

His letter was posted on Twitter by leftwing activist Dan Harris, who wrote: “Generous @peterkyle declining his own CLP a donation of 10k toward much needed campaigning and community outreach funds.

“He has loads in the kitty and rarely uses the labour name. Dear oh dear #Scrooge #bahhumbug.”

In his letter Mr Kyle said his campaign fund, sourced from donors, was used in part to cover the costs of running his high street office and topping up his staff salaries to Living Wage levels.

He added that he had funded marketing and branding activities for the party at the last election.

Mr Kyle told The Argus: “The letter really took me by surprise.

“Before becoming an MP I was always involved in raising money for our local MPs – I certainly didn’t ask them for money.”

In her letter, Ms Massey wrote : ““As you know we are preparing to win the majority of council seats for Labour in 2019. We have a shared commitment with Pavilion and Kempton, to funding the campaigning work of the LCF and a paid organiser. In addition we make a contribution to the ongoing running costs of the shared office in Dorset Street.

“As a ‘start-up’ CLP we need to buy campaigning tools eg gazebo, flags, etc.

“The EC met this week and agreed that, on behalf of Hove and Portslade Labour Party, I would ask you for a donation of £10,000 from your campaign fund to the CLP.”

The Argus understands the request from the CLP was prompted in part by dissatisfaction among some party members about the political leanings of some of the donors to Mr Kyle’s campaign fund.

In May of this year he received £10,000 from Liberal Democrat peer Lord Oakeshott.

Last June he was given £10,000 from Mrs Susan Ruddick.

Electoral Commission figures show that Mrs Ruddick or her financier husband Simon donated £100,000 to the Liberal Democrats between 2008 and 2013.