A candidate in the upcoming local elections has promised to reimburse angry residents who had to pay to receive his election leaflet.

Several people received a note from Royal Mail asking them to pay £1.80 to receive a letter that had unpaid postage.

When residents went to collect the mystery item from the sorting office, they found it was an election leaflet from Imran Khan, the Labour party candidate for the Bowling and Barkerend ward.

Khizer Mahmood, of Beech Terrace, Undercliffe, said he and two neighbours and a friend in Barkerend had paid to pick up leaflets.

He said: “Why should I have to pay £1.80 for a leaflet when I never asked for one in the first place? I thought they hand-delivered them normally.”

Candidate Mr Khan said it was “disgraceful” that residents were charged £1.80 in unpaid postage to receive his election material.

He said the charge was “unreasonable” and offered to reimburse those who had a receipt to prove they had to pay to pick up his leaflet.

He said second class stamps may have fallen off some letters, or had not been put on due to human error.

Mr Khan said: “I think it’s absolutely disgraceful that Royal Mail are charging someone £1.80 to pick up a letter that was missing a second class stamp.

“It’s obviously unreasonable and what they should be doing, if that was the case, is contact those people and charge them a reasonable amount, maybe the cost of a stamp.

“If they contacted me I would be more than happy to reimburse people.

“If they can prove they have got a receipt and they have had to pay to receive one of my election leaflets, I am more than happy to reimburse them, because at the end of the day I don’t want someone losing out.”

A Royal Mail spokesman said: “Collecting underpaid postage from customers is the last thing we want to do and we urge people sending mail to check they have used the correct postage.

“The surcharge levied reflects the cost of the considerable extra work involved in notifying someone that an underpaid item has been posted.

“Royal Mail doesn’t make a profit from collecting underpaid postage, but it ensures that those who pay postage do not end up subsidising those who don’t.”

e-mail: james.rush @telegraphandargus.co.uk