A housing partnership has been so inundated with complaints from politicians on the campaign trail that it has had to change its procedures.

As prospective councillors and would-be members of the European Parliament have knocked on doors while the campaign for this week's elections, they have heard so many complaints from tenants that Sutton Housing Partnership (SHP) has been overrun.

In response, SHP, which manages the council's housing stock, has been forced to refer all complaints from politicians to a separate department to handle the volume of calls.

Complaints have largely been from tenants who are awaiting repairs or improvements on their properties. Among them is one tenant who has been living with a leaking pipe that has been flooding her bathroom with sewage for more than a month.

When Councillor Tim Crowley took her complaint to SHP he was sent an email explaining that all complaints from MPs and councillors are to be directed to the chief executive's office.

The email continued: "This is not acceptable and I would like to apologise for this.

"I want to assure you that we are continuing to prioritise your enquiries to ensure both you and residents are confident that we are doing everything we can to deliver high levels of service and put things right quickly when this hasn’t been the case."

A spokesman for SHP said it has experienced a huge increase in complaints referred to it by councillors and prospective councillors in the run up to the elections but added that some of the complaints were not valid.

The spokesman added: "We have had an increase in volumes of councillor enquiries which is to be expected in the run up to an election.

"To respond to this we have put interim measures in place and we have received positive feedback from councillors about the change."