Jeremy Corbyn, the former Labour leader, is taking legal action over a tweet that appeared to mock the Liverpool terrorist attack.
A doctored photo – which superimposed Mr Corbyn carrying a Remembrance wreath to make it appear as though he was walking towards the burning taxi after the blast outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital – was posted on the account of Paul Nickerson, a Conservative councillor in East Riding, Yorkshire.
Mr Nickerson, who has been suspended by his council’s Conservative group, has deleted the tweet and apologised.
But a spokesman for Mr Corbyn told the PA news agency that the ex-Labour leader had contacted his solicitor and was taking legal action over the post, which was captioned: “Unsurprisingly.”
Mr Nickerson is understood to have written to the Islington North MP to apologise for the tweet, which he claimed was sent after his account was “compromised”. He also apologised on Twitter before his account was deleted.
He told the BBC the account had been “compromised” by friends playing a prank, adding: “As soon as I was able, I deleted the comments.”
The original tweet was understood to be a reference to photographs of Mr Corbyn attending a wreath-laying ceremony at a Tunisian cemetery.
A row erupted in 2018 when Mr Corbyn said he was present in 2014 when wreaths were laid to the victims of an attack in Paris in 1992 but did not think he was “actually involved in it”.
Jonathan Owen, the leader of the Conservative group on East Riding Council, said in a statement: “Following an inappropriate and offensive message which appeared on Cllr Paul Nickerson’s Twitter feed, I have suspended him from the East Riding of Yorkshire Council Conservative group with immediate effect and an investigation will now take place.
“All people in public life, irrespective of politics, should be united in condemning the terrorist attack that took place outside the Liverpool Women’s Hospital on Remembrance Sunday.It is not the time for inappropriate remarks, however intended, and they will not be tolerated in this Conservative Group.
“Residents should expect their elected representatives to act in an appropriate manner at all times.”