Hendon MP Andrew Dismore is refusing to apologise after labelling the borough's Conser-vatives as far right extremists' in a Labour Party leaflet delivered to hundreds of homes in the borough.

The A4 leaflet, which has been posted to residents in Hale and West Hendon wards, pokes fun at the internal fighting among Tory councillors.

It reads: "There's nothing worse than seeing old friends fall out unless it's the Conservative far right extremists." The text is accompanied by a mock picture of a Dalek chasing council leader Brian Salinger, with the headline EX-TORY-MATE! EX-TORY-MATE!' Hale Conservative councillor Brian Gordon said the comment was offensive and provocative.

"I think it is irresponsible to use such terminology," said Mr Gordon.

"Such expressions are generally reserved for racist or fascist organisations. We are living in a time when extremists do exist and to accuse a political party which is committed to democracy of being far right extremists, is very irresponsible."

However Mr Dismore, who is responsible for the leaflet, believed the comment needed to be read in context.

He said: "It is fair political comment.

"A moderate party does not expel several of its more moderate councillors and deselect them.

"It portrays the fact that the Tories have fallen out amongst themselves.

"I am only looking at the extreme Tories and they have far-right policies.

"Look at the budget and at the serious cuts in public services. I am not saying they are Nazis or the BNP, I am not calling them a dictatorship.

"If I wanted to say they were racist, I would say they are racist but that is not what the leaflet says.

"It is simply that they have certain policies that are far right."

Councillors Katia David, Peter Davis and Daniel Hope were deselected from standing in May's elections, while Councillor Brian Coleman called for Mr Salinger's resignation.

Mr Dismore added: "The joke refers to how they have fallen out between themselves.

"Politics can be very dry and we are trying to liven it up a bit.

"We want to put over a message in a way that the public can relate to through some humour."