A woman who appears on a Conservative Party candidate's General Election leaflet has said she never gave her permission - and doesn't even live in the constituency.

El Clarke features in a new 'Why we're all voting for Johnny' pamphlet that's doing the rounds in the Plymouth Moor View constituency.

A photo included in the pro-Tory pre-election material shows her having a chat with high-profile candidate Johnny Mercer and Conservative activist Pat Patel at a fete in Barne Barton held in the summer, according to PlymouthLive.

El was manning a stall that day on behalf of Clean Our Patch, a non-politically affiliated community litter organisation she belongs to that links up with groups, including the council, to tidy up Plymouth.

 

Ms Clarke says she was aware a photo had been taken and put it up after the event on Facebook promoting the group.

But Mr Mercer's team have now used it in election literature, something she says she did not authorise.

Mr Mercer told Plymouth Live use of the photo for his bid to retain his parliamentary seat was an 'oversight' and he is sorry.

Ms Clarke said she doesn't even live in the constituency.

"I didn't consent, they didn't even ask me, they just put my face on the leaflet and sent it around," she told Plymouth Live.

Johnny Mercer has apologised for using the picture
 

"Yet Clean Our Patch is a politically neutral, non-affiliated organisation and having my face on it - people know my role with Clean Our Patch - in a Tory leaflet is not good for our company."

Explaining the meaning behind the photo, she said: "We had a stand up there, promoting what we were doing, because we have a broad appeal.

"He [Mr Mercer] came over for a bit of a chat, said hello and that was that, and a photo was taken.

"We put that photo on our Facebook page, but it's one thing putting it on our page, saying; 'we met Johnny Mercer', then another putting it on a campaign leaflet which puts across that we are Tories. As a company, we are not affiliated with anybody.

"My issue with is, is not necessarily a political issue. The issue I have is one of consent.

"And if they had asked me, I would have said no.

"My concern is people will see this and may be put off volunteering for these groups because politically they are Tories, so it can be damaging."

The Tory says he's sorry for the 'oversight' and will go round to visit the Clean Our Patch champion to make amends
 

But Ms Clarke says that's different.

"We work with a lot of people, including councillors, but that's a very different thing to being a political activist for a party."

She's also now calling for the election leaflet to be taken out of circulation immediately.

Although she has yet to approach Mr Mercer or his team directly to make the request.

Speaking to Plymouth Live, Mr Mercer said he would go round to see her with flowers and say sorry.

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"I didn't realise I had done this," he said. "I apologise to her and it was an oversight.

"I have permission from everybody in the photos and I will go and see her and apologise to her."

But he added: "This (was in) a community public forum. She is in no way endorsing what I have done.

"It was a community event and there's nothing that has been done wrong."