Oxford's housing chief has been accused of "racism" after a video circulated online where she told people their politics "belong in Iran".

Labour city councillor Linda Smith, who represents Blackbird Leys, was out campaigning in the North Durham constituency for her husband and Labour MP candidate Luke Akehurst, who is a self-described Zionist.

She made the controversial remark "yours belong in Iran but we're not shouting about that" after someone said Ms Smith's politics "belong in the BNP (British Nationalist Party)".

A protester responded asking whether the housing chief was "looking at the brown people when you say that?".

READ MORE: Liz Truss on why she's not worst prime minister ever

Ms Smith has said the video, shared by the Newham Independents on X (formerly known as Twitter) is taken out of context and has been "wilfully misinterpreted" by many of those reposting on social media.

But city councillor Dr Hosnieh Djafari-Marbini, of the Oxford Community Independents, said: “It is shocking but unsurprising to see labour politicians who espouse values of anti-racism and equality behave in this nakedly racist manner.

"The aim of labour locally and nationally has been to exclude some of us from political discourse - whether through constant silencing and monitoring of social media activity or now Linda Smith telling those protesting Israel’s genocide that their beliefs don’t belong here.

"We as councillors are rightly held to a high standard in public life and these should be upheld for all not applied selectively only to those outside of the Labour Westminster cliques.

"The people of Oxford are tired of the Labour hypocrisy and double standards which is why the independent movement has been gathering pace.”

Oxford Mail: Linda Smith.Linda Smith. (Image: Contribution.)

The exchange comes amid an ongoing bombardment of Palestinians which has killed more than 35,000 people, following Hamas attacks on Israel that killed approximately 1,139 people, in the context of the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.

Speaking out in response to the controversy, Ms Smith said: "The clip circulating online of my words addressed to the protesters in Pelton has been presented out of context and wilfully misinterpreted by many of those sharing it on social media.

"Protesters tried to disrupt my husband’s campaign launch and then surrounded his car in a threatening way, they physically blocked him leaving the venue and shouted at him and other members of the Labour Party about us being ‘Zionists’.

Oxford Mail: Sir Keir Starmer.Sir Keir Starmer. (Image: PA)

"At this point I engaged in conversation with some of the protesters and they told me they didn’t believe in the right of Israel to exist as a country.

"My comment in the video was made in the heat of the moment after one of the protesters shouted that 'your politics belong in the BNP'.

"My response 'and yours belong in Iran' was a reference to the actions and extreme views of the protesters."

Oxford Mail: Oxford Town Hall.Oxford Town Hall. (Image: Ed Nix.)

Mr Akehurst is founder and director of the 'We Believe in Israel' UK network group and his candidacy has attracted criticism from some who describe his politics as "extreme".

He previously ran to be a city councillor for the St Mary's ward in 2021 and has now been put selected as Labour MP candidate for North Durham with political commentators calling this a safe seat.

The Oxford Labour group did not wish to comment further and we have approached a Labour Party spokesman for comment.