DISCIPLINARY action will be taken against veteran Labour MP Margaret Hodge over a tirade in which she allegedly accused Jeremy Corbyn of being an anti-Semite, a spokesman for the Labour leader has said.

He branded Dame Margaret's comment "clearly unacceptable" but declined to reveal the precise nature of the action, which will be brought against the London MP, who is herself Jewish.

However, the spokesman stressed said that the action would be taken under Parliamentary Labour Party procedures requiring MPs to behave in a "respectful" way towards colleagues and not to "bring the party into disrepute".

Yet Labour MP Wes Streeting suggested the "action" taken against Dame Margaret should, in fact, be a "fulsome apology to Margaret and the Jewish community for the flagrant disregard shown for their concerns".

This follows continuing controversy over the party’s attitude to anti-Semitism within it with its plans to tackle such racism being condemned by Jewish groups.

The party's ruling body has approved a new code of conduct on anti-Semitism despite intense criticism from its MPs and peers as well as Jewish leaders.

The document states explicitly that "anti-Semitism is racism" and it is "unacceptable" but stops short of signing up in full to the definition drawn up by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance [IHRA].

Labour's ruling National Executive Committee signed off the code at a meeting on Tuesday but members agreed to reopen the development of the policy in recognition of the "serious concerns" raised.

In the Commons, Dame Margaret is said to have challenged Mr Corbyn behind the Speaker's chair after crunch votes on Brexit.

The Huffington Post reported that Dame Margaret told him: "You're a f****** anti-Semite and a racist ...You have proved you don't want people like me in the party."

Mr Corbyn reportedly told her: "I'm sorry you feel like that."

A senior Labour source confirmed a confrontation had occurred but Dame Margaret has not responded to requests for a comment.

A series of Labour MPs publicly vented their fury about the situation and former leader Ed Miliband said the party should adopt the full IHRA definition.

"The argument that it is somehow incompatible with criticising the actions of the Israeli government is wrong.

"The views of the vast majority of the Jewish community are very clear. I would urge the NEC to get on with this at speed," he said.

Labour MP Ian Austin said the party’s approach was "utterly shameful," adding: "I am ashamed to be a member of the Labour Party."

His colleague, Mr Streeting, noted: "The leadership were warned of the consequences of today's NEC decision. They didn't care."

Labour officials drew up the code in the wake of protests by Jewish groups outside Parliament earlier this year.

It states that criticism of the state of Israel and its policies should not automatically be regarded as anti-Semitic and makes clear even "contentious" comments on this issue "will not be treated as anti-Semitism unless accompanied by specific anti-Semitic content...or by other evidence of anti-Semitic intent".

The code explicitly endorses the IHRA's working definition of anti-Semitism and includes a list of behaviours likely to be regarded as anti-Semitic copied word-for-word from the international organisation's own document. But it omits four examples from the IHRA list:

*accusing Jewish people of being more loyal to Israel than their home country;

*claiming Israel's existence as a state is a racist endeavour;

*requiring higher standards of behaviour from Israel than other nations and

*comparing contemporary Israeli policies to those of the Nazis.

Labour insisted that while the examples were not reproduced word for word, they were covered in the new code.

However, Jewish community groups condemned the NEC's decision and warned "on its current trajectory, Labour is failing British Jews and it is failing as an anti-racist party".

In a joint statement, the Board of Deputies, Jewish Leadership Council and the Community Security Trust said: "The decision taken by the NEC today to adopt a watered-down definition of anti-Semitism will be regarded with a mixture of incredulity and outrage by the overwhelming majority of the UK's Jews."

The groups added: "The NEC has chosen to disregard the views of the Jewish community, an unprecedented show of unity by rabbis from every part of the community and even its own parliamentarians.

"They have distorted and diluted the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism that is widely accepted and used by the Jewish community, the UK Government, the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly, the Crown Prosecution Service, the police, and dozens of local authorities, to create their own weaker, flawed definition whose main purpose seems to be to protect those who are part of the problem."

In a statement, the Jewish Labour Movement said: "The Labour Party has acted in a deliberate and offensive reckless manner in believing it understands the needs of a minority community better than the community itself."

Labour Against Antisemitism said it was looking at its legal options and would be making a formal complaint to the party.

Comedian Eddie Izzard, a member of the NEC, said he had called for the IHRA definition and the examples to be adopted in full.

A Labour Party spokesman said: "The NEC upheld the adoption of the code of conduct on anti-Semitism, but in recognition of the serious concerns expressed, agreed to reopen the development of the code, in consultation with Jewish community organisations and groups, in order to better reflect their views."

Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions, Theresa May referred to the Labour row, saying: "The Labour Party is trying to redefine anti-Semitism to allow people to say that Israel is a racist endeavour, the Chief Rabbi says that what the Labour Party is doing is sending an unprecedented message of contempt for British Jews.

"Even some of his own MPs are saying this is anti-Semitic. Anti-Semitism is racism, the Labour Party should accept that, [Mr Corbyn] should accept that and we should all sign up as the Conservative Party has done to the definition of the IHRA and all its annexes," she added.