Dame Margaret Beckett has branded the Conservatives “pathetic” after the party bought a website in her name to attack her and Jeremy Corbyn.
Conservatives in Derby South set up margaretbeckett.com and filled it with anti-Labour messages.
Their candidate Ed Barker said they did it because Mrs Beckett did not have a website or social media presence, which “shows she takes voters for granted”.
The veteran politician described it as an “unprecedented” personal attack.
Mrs Beckett said she has not looked at the site because she has “too much else to do”.
“It’s a pathetic, childish and silly thing to do,” she added. “[Campaigning like this] is not the norm, not in this fake news, aren’t-we-being-clever kind of way.
“There are serious issues to discuss and what they want to do is play games. We’ve not seen any sign of them out campaigning, they’re completely invisible on the ground.
“It suggests the Conservatives will stoop as low as they possibly can to win. They will lie and fake things and that is worrying for the future.”
The Tories have been criticised before in this campaign for their online tactics, for example for rebranding one of their Twitter accounts as a “fact-checking” site and setting up labourmanifesto.co.uk, a site which attacked the Labour Party leader and policies.
Mr Barker told the BBC he has not hidden the fact he is behind margaretbeckett.com.
He said: “I don’t see [these kind of tactics] as cheeky, I see them as engaging.
“I realise people have raised some questions about that… but to me having a website is a pretty fundamental thing – if you don’t have one, how are you doing your job?
“She doesn’t have a website, a Twitter [account] or a Facebook and it just shows she takes voters for granted.
“If any dirty tricks are being played it’s the fact that Brexit has not been delivered three and a half years down the line.”
You can find a list of all the candidates in the constituency here.