A policeman deliberately deleted pictures from the digital camera Austin Mitchell was using at this week?s Labour Party Conference after officials had stopped him taking snapshots, claims the MP.

A steward confronted the Labour MP when he was spotted taking pictures of people queuing for passes at the entrance to the conference, which is being held at The Brighton Centre in Brighton, East Sussex.

Austin – a keen photographer and outspoken campaigner on photographers? rights ? believes he was banned from photographing the ?long queue? because party officials did not want his pictures to embarrass conference organisers, by making them look ?inefficient? when issuing passes for visitors.

Speaking to AP this morning, Austin said it was when the head steward was summoned that a ?cunning? policeman stepped in. ?The cheeky bugger deleted the pictures? but I had told him not too,? explained Austin who said the policeman had assured him he would not remove the images when handling the camera.

Austin ? MP for Great Grimsby – said he was using a camera from Sony?s stable of Cyber-shot digital compacts given to him by The Guardian newspaper to use at the conference, which ends tomorrow.

Austin Mitchell chairs the Parliamentary All-Party Photography Group and earlier this year backed our campaign standing up for photographers? rights to take pictures in public places.

He said he will not be taking any legal action over the matter.