Jeremy Corbyn’s director of strategy asked for a Hebrew greeting to be removed from the Labour leader’s Passover message, it has been claimed.

The Community Security Trust’s Dave Rich pointed the finger at Seamus Milne in an article for the New York Times.

In a claim that has been strenuously denied by the leader’s office, he said Milne asked for ‘Chag Kasher VeSameach‘ – which means happy and kosher festival – to be taken out of the message published in the Jewish News in April “because he felt the use of the Hebrew implied support for Zionism”. He added that The director of strategy and communications was overruled.

It came as Simons, who worked with Corbyn for six months, said he was the staffer asked to remove the Hebrew – but didn’t disclose by whom.

A spokesman for Corbyn said: “The allegation that Seumas Milne or any other Jeremy Corbyn aide asked for the Hebrew Passover greeting to be removed from the Labour leader’s Passover message earlier this year is categorically untrue.

“Chag Kasher Vesameach” appeared in Jeremy Corbyn’s Passover statement, published in Jewish News on 21st April. Far from being overruled on its contents, it was Seumas Milne who signed off the full statement, as confirmed by the documentary record.

It described Simons as a “disgruntled former member of staff” who now supports Owen Smith for the leadership.