WORCESTER'S Labour parliamentary candidate is embroiled in an ugly Twitter controversy - with a former city council leader accusing her of spreading an "outright lie" about him.

Councillor Joy Squires has left a message on the social networking site saying the Conservatives in Worcester are intent on selling the historic Guildhall.

It was left on the network three weeks ago during a full council meeting and names Simon Geraghty, the former Tory council leader, saying he'd be "delighted" with the move.

During the full council meeting the Conservatives tried to get the Labour administration to agree a plan to try and flog public buildings.

Cllr Geraghty then told the room under the blueprint "crown jewels" including the Guildhall would never be up for sale because they are far too historic, repeating his point twice.

Cllr Squires' full tweet, which appeared as the debate unfolded, said: "Tory leader Simon Geraghty says he's delighted to be proposing sell-off of council buildings including Guildhall!"

The tweet has been on her page ever since, and was still there last night.

Cllr Geraghty, who is not on Twitter, says he had no idea it had appeared on the site until last week, and he's now been approached about it several times.

Cllr Squires' Twitter feed is actively followed by 885 people including key public figures across Worcestershire, voluntary groups, teachers, police and health workers, hospitals, chief fire officers, traders and hundreds of potential voters who live across the city.

To make it worse the message was then re-tweeted by Labour Councillor Jabba Riaz, who defected from the Tories last October and has 825 followers.

She says the tweet was made at the start of his speech, when he had yet to offer any guarantees about protecting the Guildhall.

Cllr Geraghty said: "This is an absolutely misleading statement - it's a straightforward lie.

"We were very clear that night that our plan did not, and would never include the Guildhall, it's a public asset we want to protect.

"I specifically went out of my way to be clear in case anything malicious was dragged up about it, so it's quite shocking to see it on Twitter.

"As a parliamentary candidate I would have thought it'd be beholden upon her to hold good standards."

Cllr Squires said the tweet was posted at the start of his speech, when he had not said the Guildhall would be protected.

"As my Twitter feed shows, it is very rare for me to tweet from council meetings," she said.

"The fact that I did tweet on this occasion, at the start of Cllr Geraghty’s speech, shows how shocked I was that he gave the impression that he included the Guildhall in his proposal to sell off council owned buildings."

She believes he was told about her tweet during the meeting, which led to him "very strenuously" denying the building would be in danger.