A leading Worthing politician is nursing her wounds after being bitten by a dog while canvassing for the May 1 local elections.

Councillor Sheila Player, leader of the ruling Liberal Democrats on the town's borough council, was door-knocking in her ward when the dog flew out of a house and bit her on the side of the knee.

She was taken to Worthing Hospital for treatment to puncture wounds, bruising and swelling but vowed to carry on campaigning Coun Player, who represents Selden ward in East Worthing, said the attack took place in Dawes Close when the dog, a sheltie, apparently took offence at her electioneering.

She joked: "It moved so quick I did not have time to see whether it was wearing a blue rosette. I suppose it is a hazard of the job."

Coun Player, who is campaigning on a "clean and safe Worthing" ticket, received a tetanus jab and antibiotics for the bite, which caused her bandaged knee to swell up.

She said: "I knocked on this door, and this dog came from nowhere. Fortunately I had thick trousers on, but I have a lovely bruise now."

Coun Player has reported the incident to the police, who are investigating.

She said: "Joking aside, dogs should be kept under control. Imagine if I had been a child."

Worthing's Tory leader, Steven Waight, was sympathetic to his rival's plight.

He said: "It is a real hazard now. One of our members, delivering leaflets, was bitten on the hand recently."