Former senior Labour figure Pete Willsman, who was suspended from the party in May after being recorded claiming its antisemitism crisis was manufactured by Israel, has sparked outrage over a tweet linked to coronavirus which mentions ex-Labour MP Ian Austin.
Mr Willsman tweeted: “Virus or no virus; nasty, foul, treacherous pieces of work like Ian Austin and Co. should have been in self isolation/lock down many years ago.”
Mr Austin stood down from politics in November, urging voters to back Boris Johnson at the general election to stop “extremist” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn from coming to power.
He responded to the tweet: “And to think Labour members elected this nasty piece of work to the NEC.”
In another riposte, Labour MP Rosie Duffield wrote: “What an unpleasant and unnecessary tweet. Change in our party, at the very least to restore decent behaviour, respect and basic manners cannot come soon enough.”
In an interview with the JC when he stood down from the political arena, Mr Austin paid emotional tribute to his Jewish refugee father.
Fighting back tears as he recalled his final exchange with his beloved dad, Fred, who passed away last March, he revealed: “Dad said to me: ‘I want you to know that I love you very much. I am really proud of you. And I really approve of all the decisions you have taken.'
“Today, I know I could look my father in the eye, and I think I can look Jewish friends of mine in the eye. I really think that.”
In his new role as chair of anti-extremist group Mainstream UK, Mr Austin has demanded that Labour's new leader must "immediately" expel Pete Willsman and give lifetime bans to Ken Livingstone and Jackie Walker. Ms Walker was expelled after her comments about Holocaust Memorial Day and antisemitism.