Jeremy Corbyn is facing claims that he called Dame Louise Ellman “the Honourable Member for Tel Aviv”.
A report in The Mail on Sunday says the “spiteful” slur was frequently said against the Jewish MP, because of her opposition to him over his failure to tackle anti-Semitism. A spokesman for the Labour leader has though said the claim is a fabrication.
The former aide, who has brought forward the claims, said: “I was very surprised and when I asked other members of staff they said he often did it in private, though not to her face.”
Another source told the same paper, “If her name crops up, or she appears on the office TV, they’ll say, ‘There she goes again, the Honourable member for Tel Aviv.’ They can’t stand her.”
In response to the claims, Dame Louise, the Liverpool Riverside MP, who is also vice-chair of the Labour Friends of Israel organisation, said: “If this is correct, I am appalled that a potential Prime Minister would use language of this sort against one of his own MPs.
“To refer to me as the ‘MP for Tel Aviv’ is to challenge my loyalty to this country. A key part the internationally accepted code on anti-Semitism, which the Labour Party wants to dilute, specifically states it is anti-Semitic to accuse Jews of being more loyal to Israel than to their own country.”
Dame Louise denounced Corbyn last week for hosting a Holocaust Memorial Day event, where the Israeli government was compared to the Nazis and in 2016, and also backed a motion of no confidence in him by rebel Labour MPs.