Marsha de Cordova has used Sadiq Khan instead of Jeremy Corbyn in her campaign leaflet and vowed to fight “night and day” for Remain.
Mr Corbyn began his campaign on Thursday in Battersea, southwest London, which Marsha de Cordova took for Labour from the Conservatives in 2017 by 2,416 votes.
The Labour leader said he would hold a second EU referendum and resolve Brexit within six months but declined to say whether he would back Remain or Leave.
Ms De Cordova, the shadow minister for disabled people, introduced Mr Corbyn at the event but her leaflet, headlined “Standing up for Battersea on Brexit”, makes no reference to him. It carries a quote from Mr Khan, the Labour mayor of London, saying: “Battersea is a two-horse race between Marsha de Cordova — who is the strongest possible Remain voice for Battersea — and Boris Johnson’s no-deal Brexit candidate. No other party can win here.”
The Liberal Democrats won 8 per cent of the vote in Battersea in 2017 but the Tories believe that the rival party could enjoy a surge and peel off Labour support, helping them to retake the seat. In Ms De Cordova’s letter to constituents she said that she had “robustly opposed Brexit at every single stage” and called for a People’s Vote. She would then campaign for Remain.
Other Labour candidates in Greater London, including Faiza Shaheen, who is seeking to unseat the former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith in Chingford & Woodford Green, do not refer to Mr Corbyn on their leaflets. Candidates in Streatham and Bermondsey & Old Southwark have done the same.
Yesterday a Labour candidate apologised for saying that she would celebrate the deaths of Tony Blair, Binyamin Netanyahu and George W Bush. Zarah Sultana, 26, who will fight Coventry South, tweeted in 2015 about the idea that people should not celebrate others’ deaths. In a message reported by The Jewish Chronicle she wrote: “Try and stop me when the likes of Blair, Netanyahu and Bush die”.
Ms Sultana, whose selection campaign was backed by the activist group Momentum and the trade union Unite, said that Israel was “created through ethnic cleansing, sustained through occupation, apartheid and war crimes”.
She said that the messages had been posted when she was a student “exasperated by endless cycles of global suffering, violence and needless killing resulting from decisions by political leaders, from the Iraq war to the killing of over 2,000 Palestinians in 2014, mostly civilians, which was condemned by the United Nations”. She added: “I do not support violence and I should not have articulated my anger in the manner I did, for which I apologise.