A Birmingham City Council by-election has sprung into life with allegations of dirty tricks.

The Labour Party, which hopes to win the Sparkbrook seat from Respect on Thursday, has been accused by rivals over a leaflet.

The leaflet accuses the Conservative-Lib Dem Government of ‘scrapping’ the pensioners winter fuel allowance, when it has only been cut.

Tory deputy leader in Birmingham Robert Alden said: “I am deeply saddened that the Labour Party would sink to this level.

"For them to be so willing to frighten the elderly people of Sparkbrook with false claims is frankly shocking.”

Labour’s campaign manger Coun Tony Kennedy said: “They have cut the winter fuel allowance and must take the credit for that.

“It’s all very well the Tories complaining about inaccuracies when their candidate has blamed me for Respect Party spending decisions.”

The by-election takes place on Thursday.