The mother of a former Navy SEAL who was killed in Libya has called on Mitt Romney to stop talking about her son during his political campaign.

A spokesman for the Republican presidential candidate says Romney will respect her wishes.

Romney in recent days has been telling voters of chance encounter with the former SEAL, Glen Doherty, at a Christmas party two or three years ago. Doherty was among four Americans killed in the attacks in Benghazi.

Romney told the story of his encounter with Doherty at least twice in the last two days as part of a larger push to show a more personal side and to criticise President Barack Obama’s foreign policy.

Romney, like other Republicans, has repeatedly raised questions about the president’s handling of the September 11 attack in Benghazi.

The Benghazi terrorist strike that left US Ambassador Christopher Stevens dead was a centrepiece of Romney’s high-profile foreign policy speech at the Virginia Military Institute earlier in the week.

On Wednesday, Doherty’s mother, Barbara Doherty told Boston television station WHDH she wanted Romney to stop citing her son.

“I don’t trust Romney. He shouldn’t make my son’s death part of his political agenda. It’s wrong to use these brave young men, who wanted freedom for all, to degrade Obama,” Barbara Doherty said.

Romney spokesman Rick Gorka said: “Gov Romney was inspired by the memory of meeting Glen Doherty and shared his story and that memory, but we respect the wishes of Mrs Doherty.”

Romney told the Doherty story at his first stop in Ohio on Wednesday but not at his next two public appearances.