Sky News has removed an article from its website which referred to Jeremy Corbyn as "Jihadi Jez", as a petition lobbying for an apology reaches 50,000 signatures.
The petition argues that the article "frivolously" used the term jihadi in an effort to "equate the Labour leader with a terrorist who zealously murdered innocent people".
In what appears to be unfortunate timing, the article was published just as the terror attacks upon Paris unfolded on Friday evening. As a result, the article and its headline took on greater significance over the weekend.
The article as it appeared on the Sky News website
The article has since been removed entirely from the channel's website, Buzzfeed News reported.
It is still available as an archival cache here.
It appears the "Jihadi Jez" quote was entirely unattributed, other than to Corbyn's "critics". Both Conservative and Labour MPs critical of Mr Corbyn are quoted in the article.
But none of these are cited as saying the exact words used in the headline.
The petition gained over 50,000 signatories
A Sky News source said that the article was removed as soon as the significance of the events in Paris became clear, though it could not confirm when this was. They claimed the channel was happy with its fairness and balance.
The channel told a Morning Star journalist that it had no plans to apologise for the headline.
Sky News spokesman tells me they will not apologise for using the term "Jihadi Jez". Petition now over 50,000 https://t.co/aRsUcsRy3v
— Luke James (@LEJ88) November 16, 2015