Fake flyers designed to “provoke hostility” towards the homeless have been circulating the city.

Green MP for Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas is “outraged” at the leaflets and said they are “clearly designed to provoke hostility towards people in desperate need of support”.

The flyers claim those sleeping rough can earn up to £2,000 a week during winter and implies they spend most of this on drugs and alcohol before food and basic needs.

A concerned resident said: “My friend got handed one of these near Churchill square, it was a well made fake but it felt written in a way to make people feel anger at the homeless or associate them all with being addicts out to scam everyone.

“I was shocked to see how much effort someone went to for this, so I wanted to bring it to the councils attention and make sure they are able to stop the fake leaflets being handed out and let them spread actual information that could help people.

The curators of the flyers used a copy of The Brighton and Hove City Council logo, but local authorities have confirmed they are entirely fake.

Caroline Lucas said: “It’s vital we stand together as a community to stop homeless people facing abuse, and that MPs and councillors work across party lines to open the night shelter and help them into safe homes”.

“Brighton is facing a housing crisis that is forcing dozens of people to sleep on our streets.

“No one chooses to spend the night in the cold”.

A spokeswoman at the council said: “The flyer about street begging is irresponsible and nasty and nothing to do with the council.

"Despite the flyer’s small print which says it’s not associated with or paid for by Brighton & Hove City Council, the misuse of our logo is misleading and a breach of copyright.

“If you’re worried about homelessness or concerned about people sleeping rough in the city, please visit www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/homelessness for advice about what you can do.

“You can also find advice on donating to charities who support people living on the street by searching for Make Change Count on our website.”