Lord Alan Sugar removed a controversial tweet depicting Jeremy Corbyn sat in a car alongside Adolf Hitler, following criticism Labour MPs.
The former Labour peer, shared the image with his 5.5 million Twitter followers as Mr Corbyn battled to get a handle on the anti-Semitism row that enveloped the party.
The businessman, who was born into a Jewish family, tweeted “many a true word spoken in jest Corbyn” alongside the image, which carried the caption “when you’re pictured at Nuremberg and claim you thought you were going to a car rally”.
Following the tweet, Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell urged him to remove it, adding that “people have contacted me about Alan Sugar’s tweet”.
“I just make this appeal to him. Please delete and disown it. We all desperately need to bring people together now. We can hold strong views about each other’s politics but now is the time to learn from each other and unite people.”
Lord Sugar subsequently replied to McDonnell, after the tweet was removed, saying: “Dear Mr McDonnell. I am sorry you are offended by my retweet on the picture. First let me say I am not the originator it has been doing the rounds. You need to get Corbyn to make a firm statement about antisemitism. There is no smoke without fire in Labour”
Two Labour MPs condemned Lord Sugar for the tweet, including Chris Williamson, who last month was criticised for sharing a platform with suspended Labour member Jackie Walker.
He said the peer has brought his position into disrepute, saying the post “promotes hatred and that is irresponsible”. Before Sugar deleted it, Williamson called for him to “swallow your pride… and make a fulsome apology”.
Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism John Mann said the tweet was libellous and Lord Sugar “might find it sensible to reword or remove it”.
He tweeted: “The use of Hitler/ Nazi comparators is demeaning, unwarranted and dangerous. You damage the fight against anti Semitism with this @Lord_Sugar. Withdraw this and apologise please.”
Lord Sugar said the post was “a joke” and the “angry brigade like to moan”.
The Apprentice personality resigned from the Labour party in 2015 in protest at its stance on business.
The use of Hitler/ Nazi comparators is demeaning, unwarranted and dangerous. You damage the fight against anti Semitism with this @Lord_Sugar. Withdraw this and apologise please. https://t.co/JsqnohTf63
— John Mann (@JohnMannMP) March 30, 2018