A SOCIAL media spat has erupted over the delivery of a hand-embroidered handkerchief protesting about the ‘privatisation’ of the NHS to a Tory MP.

Members of Unite the Union turned up at the Accrington office of Tory backbencher Sara Britcliffe with it and a petition claiming the health service was being sold off.

The handkerchief was accepted by the Hyndburn MP’s father Cllr Peter Britcliffe after her office staff retreated upstairs.

Miss Britcliffe later took to Facebook to condemn the ‘intimidating’ behaviour.

But Unite member Mary Whitby, who delivered the handkerchief, and the previous Labour MP for Hyndburn Graham Jones denied her claim.

Miss Britcliffe posted: “I have been made aware that members of the Labour Party have been outside my office and that some of the people with them have been banging on my door windows and ringing the doorbell, demanding members of my team come to the door and that they see me whilst I was out.

“Through the intercom they told my team member, at the time trying to assist a resident on the phone, that she needed to come to the door so they could hand her a political leaflet. She asked them to post it through the letterbox, understandably uncomfortable to open the door.

“They refused to do this and asked for somebody else to come outside and collect the leaflet.

“I have since spoken to my team who felt extremely intimidated by this to the point that they moved upstairs to work.”

Ms Whitby posted in reply: “Good day raising awareness of NHS Americanisation in Accrington outside the office of Sara Britcliffe MP. Great turnout of Unite Community branch members.

“The MP was not there so we peacefully handed over the embroidered handkerchief to her father Cllr Peter Britcliffe.

“Cllr Britcliffe seemed happy to accept the handkerchief, some leaflets and a letter.

“Sadly when we got home we discovered that Sara Britcliffe, who was not present, posted a misleading post on Facebook accusing us of intimidating her staff.

“There was no mob at the door."

Mr Jones posted: “I popped into town to support some very polite, caring largely elderly ladies from Unite peacefully gathering signatures to save the NHS.

“Everything was quiet and very polite.”

Cllr Britcliffe said: “I was not intimidated but I am an experienced politician used to the antics of Hyndburn Labour Party. Sara’s staff did feel fearful.”

Mr Jones said: “It was all very peaceful. There was no intimidation.”