TWO Vale parliamentary candidates have slated Vale MP and Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns for using parliamentary resources to send letters to constituents encouraging them to turn away political canvassers, ahead of a potential General Election.

Welsh Labour’s Belinda Loveluck-Edwards and Liberal Democrat, Sally Stephenson criticised Tory MP, Mr Cairns after he sent unsolicited window stickers to constituency residents.

Residents received a letter from Mr Cairns on House of Commons branded stationery with a free window sticker which he asks them to use as a “preventative notice… to deter doorstep cold callers”.

The letter explained that the sticker was aimed at reducing the number of “uninvited traders visiting parts of the Vale” because “many find cold calling a nuisance, or even an uncomfortable experience due to the potential for doorstep crime.”

But as well as “no uninvited traders”, the sticker also states “no political canvassers” - yet politics was not mentioned in the letter at all.

Under parliamentary rules, MPs are banned from using stationary or postage for party political purposes or in a way that can be construed as campaign expenditure with the scope of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.

But a spokesman for Mr Cairns said he was taking a pro-active approach to deterring cold callers.

Welsh Labour parliamentary candidate for the Vale, Belinda Loveluck-Edwards said: “It appears that Alun Cairns is using public money to try and block his political opponents from speaking to voters.

“This must be investigated.

“This is a deliberate attempt to present a false equivalence between genuine political canvassing and those who would wish to scam vulnerable people.

“Many people will be deeply unsettled by this behaviour from Cairns at the same time as the Tories are attempting to suppress votes by making it a requirement to show ID at polling stations- a move that will disproportionately affect working class, ethnic minority and young voters.”

Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for the Vale, Sally Stephenson said: “Alun Cairns is trying to prevent the public from engaging with political parties in order to stop them discussing the Tories shocking behaviour and the impact of their disastrous Brexit.

“This is a complete waste of taxpayers’ money.

“It is yet another cynical attempt by the Conservatives to shut down democratic debate in this country, because they know the public has turned against them.”

A spokesman for Mr Cairns said: “Alun is well known for taking a pro-active approach to issues that affect constituents in the Vale of Glamorgan.

“In the past he chaired the all-party Parliamentary group on nuisance calls and secured changes to the law to restrict cold telephone calling.

“There have been a number of complaints about the increase in nuisance callers and the rise of the doorstep economy in the Vale of Glamorgan.

“Ahead of the clocks going back, Alun wants to provide constituents with a proven means of reducing the number of doorstep callers.”

No other political party has so far announced their prospective parliamentary candidate for a UK general election.