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A member of Britain's Parliament feuds with store over 'Star Wars' shoes

By Ben Hooper

BRIGHTON, England, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- A member of Britain's Parliament has been nicknamed "Shoebacca" after using House of Commons letterhead to complain about missing out on Star Wars shoes.

Angela Rayner, 35, a Labor party member who represents Ashton-under-Lyne, used notepaper with House of Commons letterhead to write a letter of complaint to the Irregular Choice shop after the store sold out of Dan Sullivan-designed Star Wars shoes that featured R2-D2 figures as the high heels.

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"I have only ever brought your shoes and I am loathed to do so again, or recommend your shoes to others. I am writing to let you know that treating customers in that way will only cost you more in the long term," the letter read.

Daniel Theophanides, 32, head of retail at the Brighton-based shop, told the Manchester Evening News he was "personally very shocked by the complaint."

"It was the wording of the complaint on House of Commons headed paper. One was addressed to head office and the other was sent to the shop in Brighton," Theophanides said.

Theophanides said Rayner mistakenly believed she was on a pre-order list for the shoes, when they were actually available only on a walk-in basis. He said he called the official to apologize and was going to offer her a pair of the shoes special-ordered from China, but she hung up on him before he was finished speaking.

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"Shame they sold my pair after I waited months on their list & been a customer 4 years. Poor customer service," Rayner tweeted.

Rayner took a more diplomatic tone with the Manchester Evening News.

"There appears to have been a breakdown in communications with the company, which is regrettable," she said. "My complaint was about the poor level of customer service and the attitude of a member of staff, who appears to be seeking headlines in tabloid newspapers rather than concentrating on providing a decent service to customers."

Her office said members of Parliament are allowed "modest use" of the House of Commons letterhead for personal correspondence.

Rayner, who was branded "Shoebacca" by The Sun, appears to have deactivated her Twitter account amid the controversy.

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