AN MP hopeful has defended comments she made on social media suggesting people could “escape austerity” by working in a Swiss ski lodge.

Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate for Hove Beatrice Bass came under fire after she wrote on Twitter that the extension of the Brexit deadline would “ruin” her ski season.

“December and January are for winter sports, not campaigning,” she wrote.

After another user asked her how she could afford to ski in times of austerity, Ms Bass replied: “Flights to Zurich with budget airline for £60-80 return.

“If you want to escape austerity, you could work a ski season there for at least Fr 4,200 min wage a month.”

Her comments attracted criticism from some.

One wrote: “What an outrageous thing to say.

“I’m sure people devastated by the austerity your party helped create will thank you for that little life tip.”

Another wrote: “A brilliant tip for in-work households with children relying on Universal Credit.”

Speaking after the row, the Swiss-born Brit said her original comment was “tongue in cheek” and critics had taken her words out of context.

“My original exchange in the Twitter thread was about the benefits of free movement of people which we still enjoy as members of the EU,” Ms Bass, from Davos, said.

“It might be of interest to some individuals to live and work abroad if they so wish to do so.

“I think we have bigger issues to fight than analysing my hobbies.”

Ms Bass called the criticism a “personal attack” that demonstrated the “cut-throat culture” in politics.

“The amount of trolling also highlights the hatred towards citizens of nowhere like me, and the reluctance to engage with other cultures,” she said.

“The aggression and some of the racist comments I received and reported are unacceptable.

“Before I came into politics I had my concerns about the cut-throat culture in politics, but I did not anticipate becoming a victim of it.”

Ms Bass was not the only Hove candidate involved in controversy.

Conservative hopeful Robert Nemeth came under fire from art group Art+Believe for using a picture of him beside its art on his campaign leaflets.

Cllr Nemeth said: “I’m running a happy and positive campaign so used a picture of me standing beside a random bright image on the side of a public building.

“By the time that I was aware that the artist didn’t want me to use it, I had stopped doing so, save for a few random leaflets out in the ether.”