iane Abbott has been criticised after saying migrants who drowned off Italy have “indeed f***** off” in a now-deleted tweet.
The independent MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington tweeted “These migrants have indeed f***** off. To the bottom of the sea,” as she shared a news story about the disaster in the Mediterranean.
The post was a response to a comment made by Lee Anderson, the deputy chairman of the Conservative party, who earlier this week said asylum seekers complaining about being moved on to an accommodation barge should “f*** off back to France”.
Tory former minister Brendan Clarke-Smith tweeted: “And to think that Sir Keir Starmer campaigned for this person to be made our Home Secretary.
“We all know that you can’t take Labour seriously on immigration or national security, but what a shame they also seek to exploit tragedies like this to push their warped agenda.”
A Conservative spokesman told the PA news agency Ms Abbott’s tweet was “wrong”.
“The fact that she deleted it suggests she agrees with us,” they added.
Forty-one people are believed to have died after a boat carrying migrants capsized off Tunisia in rough seas.
The metal boat carrying 45 people left Sfax, Tunisia on August 3, but the vessel was overturned by a huge wave hours into the journey.
Survivors were taken to the island of Lampedusa on Wednesday after a rescue operation.
Ms Abbott’s tweet was not the first criticism she made of the Tory deputy chairman for his comments.
Ms Abbott, who once served as shadow home secretary, had previously described Mr Anderson’s comments as “a new low even for the Tories”.
But ministers have rallied around Ashfield MP Mr Anderson, with Justice Secretary Alex Chalk suggesting his “indignation” was “well-placed” after only 15 migrants had initially entered the Bibby Stockholm accommodation barge.
The transfer of migrants on to the vessel has been mired in difficulty and delays amid safety concerns, local opposition and legal challenges.
Ms Abbott had the Labour whip suspended in April for suggesting Jewish, Irish and traveller people are not subject to racism “all their lives” in a letter to the Observer newspaper.