The Leave.EU campaign has apologised to Labour’s Bradford West MP Naz Shah after calling her a “grooming gang apologist”.

Ms Shah says their social media post left her facing death threats and abuse. She began libel action against Leave.EU after a Facebook post claimed she was a “grooming gangs apologist”.

It has issued an apology that accepted Ms Shah was a “vociferous campaigner for victims of grooming gangs”.

The Leave.EU statement said the post was “ill-judged and untrue”.

It was taken down on the same day, 16 December 2019, it was published but had already been shared and commented on thousands of times on social media.

Ms Shah welcomed the apology but said the post had been copied numerous times and was still used to abuse her.

The Leave.EU statement said: “While the publication had been intended to be satirical; we appreciate that it was ill-judged and untrue.

“We accept that Ms Shah is not an ‘apologist’ for grooming gangs but is a vociferous campaigner for victims of grooming gangs.

“We apologise for the distress caused by it and have paid Ms Shah damages for libel.”

The libellous comment was part of a post making fun of possible contenders to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader.

Ms Shah said: “The allegation of me being a grooming apologist has been horrendous.

“The fact they’ve accepted that I’m a vociferous campaigner against grooming is important to me.”

Ms Shah added that she could not talk about the damages paid, and that she was happy with the apology.