A PROSPECTIVE parliamentary MP has had to remove advertising from outside his office because it broke election rules.

Conservative candidate for Edmonton, Andrew Charalambous, was told by Enfield Council to remove a banner bearing the words “we say no to hospital cuts” with a box marked with “X” next to his name.

A helium balloon bearing the words “we believe” was also taken down from the grounds of the Conservative office, at West Way, off Silver Street, Edmonton.

A spokesman for the council’s legal team said: "Political advertisements can be displayed once an election has been called, however at this stage an election date has not been set. As a result the council was obliged to ensure the law was applied in a fair and transparent way and the adverts were taken down."

Andrew Charalambous, a property developer estimated to be worth about £100m, said the move was a “sad day for freedom of speech and democracy”.

He said: “The Labour Party in Edmonton [who reported the advertising] should be less concerned about four or five information boards and more concerned about the issues affecting the everyday lives of ordinary people from Edmonton, like myself."

He added: “This is why we have to end ping pong politics.”

Labour councillor and Haselbury representative George Savva, who said he was made aware of the banners by residents, said: “There’s no excuse for parliamentary candidates who do not understand the law on what they can and cannot do before an election.

“It’s sad that it has taken a Conservative council to remind one of their own candidates of his legal responsibilities.”

Ertan Huhrer, chairman of the Edmonton Conservative Association, and also a cabinet member for finance at the council, said there had been a “difference of opinion as to the reason for and nature of the boards”.

Mr Huhrer said: “Advertising boards are used to promote or sell a product; these boards were clearly not for this purpose.

“These boards were specifically dealing with the issue of the Labour Government’s proposed cuts at North Middlesex Hospital and Chase Farm.

“They were placed on the buildings in December and we received very positive feedback from members of the public.”

The council said the material is classified as advertisements under the Town and Country Planning Regulations 2007.