A SENIOR Liberal Democrat politician has defended his actions after he was caught on video removing a Conservative election leaflet from a house letterbox.

David Whipp he was caught on domestic CCTV removing the flier in Barnoldswick.

The film of the leader of Pendle Borough and Lancashire County Councils' Liberal Democrat groups has been posted on social media and copies sent to the Lancashire Telegraph.

Mr Whipp, standing for re-election for both authorities, defended his actions as politicians from other parties reacted to the footage.

Mr Whipp said: "I haven't stolen anything. A flyer was stuffed in the top of a post box blocking the opening.

"I removed it to put my leaflet in. The flyer was returned to the letter box and I have apologised to the householder. There were quite a few of the Conservative flyers thrown over people's gates. I didn't want it adding to the litter.

"Our volunteers are asked to make sure leaflets are pushed fully through letterboxes and not left hanging out of them, or just thrown onto people's paths."

Jenny Purcell, Conservative county council candidate for Pendle Rural said:“I’m saddened but not surprised by Cllr Whipp’s actions.

"It’s not fitting behaviour for the deputy leader of Pendle Council, or any politician for that matter. They’ve been fighting a dirty campaign this year, and his excuse makes no sense either.

"You can clearly see he steals the leaflet from the owner’s letterbox, stuffs it in his bag and walks away. I doubt very much he would have returned it if he hadn’t been caught out. It makes me question, how many other leaflets he’s been stealing? But, what saddens me most is that local politics is about helping local people and the community, not dirty tricks to win at all costs.”

Leader of Pendle Council and Labour candidate Mohammed Iqbal said: "This video does look somewhat suspicious but I am sure neither David Whipp nor the Liberal Democrats would stoop to stealing leaflets."