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Labour MP resigns over Rochester tweet gaffe

Labour MP and shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry has been forced to resign from the shadow cabinet after posting a tweet which appeared to caricature voters in Rochester & Strood, who voted in former Conservative MP Mark Reckless on a UKIP ticket for the constituency.

The image depicted a terraced house with mock Grecian columns bedecked with England flags and a white van parked in the driveway, accompanied by three words: ‘Image from #Rochester’.

Political opponents immediately seized on the message as proof that Labour has become dismissive of its core working class vote.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage, already beaming after securing his second MP, responded on Twitter by saying: “What is Labour's Emily Thornberry trying to imply about Rochester and Strood? I suspect she's let Miliband's mask slip.”

In a statement following the ensuing backlash Thornberry said: "Earlier today I sent a tweet which has caused offence to some people. That was never my intention and I have apologised.

"However I will not let anything distract from Labour's chance to win the coming general election. I have therefore tonight told Ed Miliband I will resign from the shadow cabinet."