WILTSHIRE’S top freemason has slammed as “ridiculous” suggestions that the organisation he helps oversee was in any way “shadowy”.

It follows a decision by the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) to place full-page advertisements in three national newspapers, complaining of “gross misrepresentation” of freemasonry.

The advertisements, which take the form of a letter by UGLE chief executive Dr David Staples, say that freemasons are “undeservedly stigmatised”. “No other organisation would stand for this and nor shall we,” wrote Dr Staples, who said he had lodged a complaint with the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

The letter follows a report in the Guardian last week, claiming the existence of two freemason lodges in Westminster made up of MPs and political journalists. The Grand Lodge said that none of the members of the lodges were MPs or political reporters.

Philip Bullock, who has been Provincial Grand Master of Wiltshire Freemasons for over three years, supported Dr Staples comments that “enough is enough” when it came to “discrimination” of freemasons.

He said: “We have made a point of being transparent and open; we have nothing to hide. I think it’s an excellent thing that Dr Staples is doing.

“Enough is enough. It’s discrimination and there’s no other way about it.”

Mr Bullock slammed as "quite ridiculous" suggestions freemasonry was in any way “shadowy”, pointing to open days held at Wiltshire lodges and their presence online: “What shadowy organisation has a twitter site and a website?”

He said that his fellow freemasons “occasionally” came up against prejudice, but it was “incredibly rare” in Wiltshire.

Mr Bullock cited lodges’ charity work. Last year, Wiltshire’s 44 lodges raised more than £50,000 for causes including Swindon Foodbank.

He said: “Every member in the province of Wiltshire deeply, deeply cares about people who are less fortunate than ourselves. We give a huge amount of money from our own pockets and help so many worthy charities.”