People have been left perplexed after they were told to pay for a letter only to find it was a Labour election leaflet.

Candidates canvassing in Hangleton and Knoll sent out campaign leaflets to houses but residents were given slips from Royal Mail asking them to pick up letters and pay £2.50 in postage.

On collecting the leaflets from the Royal Mail, rather than packages or letters from loved ones the post only contained campaign literature for the local elections.

One resident who received the letter said: “I asked staff at Royal Mail why I was paying for the letter and she said it had a counterfeit stamp on it.

"At first I thought it was a package that I had ordered. I’ve never received a letter with a counterfeit stamp and I’m sure they have gone to lots of people.

"Coming from a political party I just find it very odd."

A Labour spokesman confirmed that campaigners had bought stamps online and that while the stamps were being flagged as counterfeit, the error is believed to have been caused by a faulty barcode. The party has also offered refunds to anyone who has paid the £2.50 charge for the leaflets.

The Argus: The letter sent to one resident in HangletonThe letter sent to one resident in Hangleton (Image: Public)


Patricia Mountain, former city council candidate and leader of the UK Independence Party, raised the issue and said: “If we had put a toe wrong we would have been slated.”

A Labour spokesman said: "Labour would never knowingly use counterfeit stamps for the posting of its literature to residents.

"Discussions with the retailer have revealed problems with the new bar-coded stamps the Royal Mail has introduced. We have therefore demanded an investigation by Royal Mail so incidents like this will never happen again to anyone.

"It is unfortunate that our political opponents did not investigate this matter more carefully ,and, in the absence of policies that address the concerns of residents, seek to make this a newsworthy story."

The Argus:

Campaigners have been canvassing in wards across the city ahead of the upcoming elections for Brighton and Hove City Council.

Voters are set to go to the polls in May with all of the seats in the city up for grabs.