The Liberal Democrats in Watford have apologised to Watford Observer for misleading information contained in its latest campaign leaflet.

The leaflet, being delivered to thousands of homes in the constituency this week, reproduces a quote from the Watford Observer stating: "The signs look good for the Lib Dems to topple Claire Ward the Labour MP" and attributes the words directly to the newspaper.

But in fact, when the comment was published in the Watford Observer almost five months ago, it was clearly attributed to the Lib Dem Mayor Dorothy Thornhill.

It in no way reflects comment or opinion that has been expressed by the newspaper.

Watford Observer group editor Peter Wilson-Leary said: "We are very disappointed to have had this brought to our attention.

"Whether this was an unintentional slip or a deliberate ruse, it is very misleading and could be very damaging to our credibility.

"To the casual reader it suggests the Watford Observer is backing the Liberal Democrats when, in fact, we have said no such thing.

"The newspaper would never endorse an individual candidate nor their party for that matter.

"As stated in the newspaper every week, the Watford Observer adheres to the Press Complaints Commission's code of practice and remains independent of political parties, private interest and government."

Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Watford Sal Brinton apologised for the error and promised a written assurance that it would not be repeated.