The Elected Mayor of Watford has brushed off suggestions she has abused her position to boost her parliamentary campaign.

The Watford Labour Party has criticised Dorothy Thornhill for sending out her weekly mayoral newsletter with a link to her personal political website, which details her manifesto and ongoing activities.

It follows a leaflet sent out about recycling by Watford Borough Council which featured a personal message from Mayor Thornhill.

Labour said this is evidence the Lib Dem was "abusing her position".

Mayor Thornhill said: "They must be really desperate.

"The council are meticulous about what goes out and if there was anything wrong, the solicitor would flag it up straight away.

"The email does not promote my website. The link is in the signature at the bottom of every email and I doubt anyone ever gets that far."

When the Observer asked Mayor Thornhill if she felt she should have two separate websites - one for her mayoral work and one for her parliamentary campaign, the Mayor said she would consider it.

She said: "That’s a pale grey area. It would be no skin off my nose and would not make a difference in the election, but the rules are not quite up-to-date when it comes to websites and social media."

The council said a message from the mayor is usually printed on a separate letter and sent out alongside the annual recycling calendar, but it decided to merge the two documents this year to save money.

The managing director and head of democracy and governance has received a complaint about the mayor, the authority added.

Watford Labour chairman Mike Jackson said: "We warned when Thornhill was selected that she would use taxpayers’ money to try to get elected to Parliament and we proposed she should resign as Mayor to ensure a clean fight.

"Here is the evidence that she is abusing her position.

"The chief executive of Watford council should step in and stop this flagrant abuse now, otherwise Labour will raise this issue with the Local Government Ombudsman"