Conservative mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey has accused the Labour Party of spreading “fake news”, after its advert claimed he would strip pensioners of their right to free travel.

Shaun Bailey said he has never supported the policy, and likened Labour’s targeted attack ad to the workings of Cambridge Analytica.

The London Labour facebook advert, targeted at over 65s, claims the Tory mayoral hopeful is “considering taking away” Freedom Passes for those aged between 60 and 75.

It includes a link to a story by hyperlocal news blog Inside Croydon, which makes the same claim.

But Mr Bailey told the LDR service he has never considered scrapping free travel for pensioners – his campaign website states that he will protect the existing arrangements.

He said: “It’s hugely irresponsible to send this out to people. I think it’s disgusting – firstly it shows a real lack of respect for the electorate, and secondly it’s terrifying older people who rely on the Freedom Pass to get around.

“Labour should be ashamed of themselves – and to use micro-targeting, it almost reminds me of Cambridge Analytica. Fake news is one of the biggest challenges we have to democracy – I’m somewhere between furious and scared right now.

“I challenge London Labour to apologise and I challenge the Mayor Sadiq Khan to apologise as well.”

The claims made by Inside Croydon, and repeated in the Labour advert, appear to originate from an event at the Conservative party conference last year.

The “Manifesto for Shaun” meeting was hosted by London Tories to discuss policy suggestions for Mr Bailey’s mayoral campaign.

An audience member suggested scrapping the Freedom Pass for under 75s – it was one of a number of controversial suggestions, including driverless buses and an end to the hopper fare.

But a live Twitter thread from Business Insider political editor Adam Bienkov confirms that the mayoral candidate had already left the meeting when these suggestions were raised.

Mr Bailey said he was never approached for comment by Inside Croydon, and he has since refuted their assertions on social media.

But a spokesperson for London Labour said: “Shaun Bailey must come clean over this report – which states he is considering removing free travel from older Londoners.”

They declined to respond to his comments.