A TORY councillor has apologised after an outburst aimed at Labour activists when he shouted “for the many, not the Jew”.

Billy Greening, a councillor for Horsham District Council, reportedly aimed the comment at Labour activists, including Guardian columnist Owen Jones, Huck Magazine editor Mike Segalov and senior editor of Novara Media, Ash Sarkar, outside the Falcon pub in Wandsworth, London.

Councillor Greening’s jibe on Saturday was a play on words of the Labour Party’s slogan “for the many, not the few”.

Apologising on Twitter, Cllr Greening wrote: “I approached Owen and said something I did not think through (I didn’t jab him as has been said).

“What I said was wrong, plain and simple. And I am very sorry for what I said.”

The councillor wrote he had made the comment while the Labour activists were canvassing to “provoke a reaction” in hope of sparking a discussion about the “situation” in the Labour Party.

Accusations of anti-Semitism in the party have been prevalent since Jeremy Corbyn became leader, with pressure being put on the party to address concerns about the issue.

Cllr Greening’s apology continues: “I can now plainly see that was a ludicrous assumption and attempt to draw a well-known commentator into a debate.

“I would like to extend an apology to you all in person, I know this something you might not accept, but offering an olive branch is the least I can do.

“Some people might say it’s only taken me ‘getting caught’ for me to issue an apology.

“Hopefully in the long term this will be the turning point I needed, and being called out on saying stupid/wrong/horrible things will end.

“I really don’t want to conflate two issues, but I feel this is a good time to get things off my chest anyway.”

Following the incident, Mr Jones posted on Twitter: “On Saturday a Tory councillor came up to us in a Wandsworth pub, yelled ‘for the many not the Jew’, laughed about it and claimed it was a ‘joke’. Anti-Semitism isn’t funny.”

It follows a long-term row over claims of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, with thousands of protesters meeting in London last month to call for an end to hate speech against Jews.

Brighton and Hove City Council leader Warren Morgan said last year that the party’s annual conference would not be welcome back in the city unless it took a stronger position against anti-Semitism.

Councillor Greening has been contacted for a comment.

Horsham District Council has also been contacted.