A DISTRICT councillor says she regrets claiming the suspension of election campaigning after the Manchester terror attack gave ‘free airtime’ to Theresa May.

But despite removing her post from Twitter, Liberal Democrat Debbie Hallett rejected a call to apologise and accused Tory opponents of ‘politicising’ the issue.

It came after a bomber killed 22 people in Manchester Arena on Monday night and injured scores more. Political parties agreed to suspend their General Election campaigns out of respect.

Less than 48 hours later, Botley and Sunningwell councillor Ms Hallett retweeted a post from another user which said: “The ‘suspended’ election campaign means 1, no more awkward interviews for May...”.

Ms Hallett commented: “And free airtime for #angryMay.”

Her post was shared by Vale of White Horse District Conservative leader Matthew Barber, who wrote: “With #GE2107 suspended out of respect, @WhiteHorseDC Lib Dem Leader implies @theresa_may using #Manchester tragedy for PR. Apology in order.”

And Nicola Blackwood, Tory candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon, wrote: “At a time when the nation expected [sic] politicians unite in face worst terror atrocity in a decade, deeply disappointing from @DebbyHallett_LD”.

Ms Hallett, who later deleted her post, told the Oxford Mail yesterday: “In retrospect, I had forgotten national campaigning was still suspended and my opinion of Theresa May is not entirely to do with this campaign.

“She is doing things to the country that are harming millions of people and I was offended by her angry face being on the television when no one else was allowed to say anything. It was pointed out to me that someone could have interpreted it as being politically-minded and I then realised my tweet was inappropriate and decided to take it down. I admit it was a slip, but to have the council leader and the Conservative candidate trying to make it into something big is, I feel, politicising it.”