A Labour candidate who has found himself embroiled in a political row over a letter he signed five years ago has reiterated he regrets not reading the letter fully.

Earlier this week, the Jewish Chronicle (JC) published an article in which Dr Dan Ozarow claimed he "never saw the final text" of a letter he signed in 2015 arguing that Jeremy Corbyn had "nothing to apologise for" in his meetings with representatives of terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah.

Other signatories included anti-Israel activists, the JC added.

News of his signing the letter resurfaced this week, as Dr Ozarow is hoping to win the vacant borough council seat in Kenilworth ward in Borehamwood.

Hertsmere Labour says that since the JC published the story, Mr Ozarow and his family have received "anti-Semitic abuse".

In its story published on Monday, the JC reported that Mr Ozarow, a senior lecturer at Middlesex University, put his name to the 2015 letter penned in the wake of a JC front page that asked Mr Corbyn seven "key questions" about his record of associating with Holocaust deniers, terrorists and anti-Semites.

The letter said: "There is something deeply unpleasant and dishonest about your McCarthyite guilt by association technique.

"Jeremy Corbyn’s parliamentary record over 32 years has consistently opposed all racism including antisemitism.

"Jeremy Corbyn has nothing to apologise for in his meetings with representatives of Hamas and Hezbollah. Hamas was democratically elected in Palestinian elections generally accepted as fair, and Hezbollah also has strong electoral support in Lebanon."

Read an article published by the Jewish Chronicle in 2015 here

Dr Ozarow, who is Jewish, gave the following statement to the JC and this paper.

"When this letter was published several years ago, I felt the best way to address these issues was through sensible and balanced debate. I believed I was signing a plea for fair coverage during the leadership contest. As far as I recall I was never shown the final text.

"I was appalled to see some of the people on the list of co-signatories whose politics I do not share and whose views I abhor. On both counts I should have been more careful. Back then I was a young academic, not an experienced politician.

"Since then I have clearly spoken out against Labour’s failure to address these issues and have fought antisemitism in our party alongside many fellow Jewish and non-Jewish members. I have supported the expulsion of some of those who signed the letter.

"I am a supporter of both Israel, the Palestinian people and a two-state solution to achieving peace. I have a track record of involvement in interfaith peace initiatives."

The JC's story has since been shared widely on Facebook, including in groups across Borehamwood and Jewish groups.

A Hertsmere Labour spokeswoman said Dr Ozarow received abuse as people began commenting on posts about the story.

The spokeswoman told the Times: "We immediately reported the foulest posts to Facebook containing things like "Jew hating Jew ****" and one which advocated the gas chambers for Dr Ozarow.

"Anti-Semitic abuse continued on Borehamwood Facebook groups, but some admins responded promptly to removing posts and threads.

"Dr Ozarow has received anti-Semitic abuse in emails to his work place and his mother and sister have been abused on Jewish Facebook groups."

Borehamwood Times:

This post of Dr Ozarow canvassing with MP's Clive Lewis and Sam Tarry was captioned 'Jew hating Jew ****'

Borehamwood Times:

An email received by Dan Ozarow on Tuesday

In particular, Hertsmere Labour has criticised Hertsmere Tory councillor Glenn Briski for sharing the story widely.

One of the photos Labour say Cllr Briski "denounced" Dr Ozarow for was of him pictured in Parliament with Mr Corbyn and an 87-year-old woman called Nora Cortinas - one of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, a movement of Argentine mothers who campaigned for their children who had been "disappeared" during the military dictatorship between 1976 and 83.

Borehamwood Times:

Cllr Glenn Briski posted a photo of Dr Ozarow with Jeremy Corbyn and Nora Cortinas

Hertsmere Labour say Dr Ozarow helped organise the event after Mr Corbyn had invited her to lunch with the party, adding that this is part of the volunteering Dr Ozarow does for Jewish causes and human rights campaigns.

Cllr Briski said: "It is always unfortunate if people choose to abuse others online as a consequence of anything they read.

"Social media should be an avenue for grown up debate. Yes of course I shared the Jewish Chronicle story, which had been published and in the public domain.

"It is not a made up story and it is on a subject that people feel strongly and passionately about.

"This story is not a fake story and I have no qualms in sharing it."