Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry has resigned her position in Labour's shadow cabinet after claiming a terraced family home adorned with St George flags was the 'image from Rochester.'

Thornberry, the MP for Islington South and Finsbury, tweeted the image during polling in the Rochester and Strood by-election defeat earlier today.

Labour leader Ed Miliband was apparently "furious" when he received word of the tweet. One Labour source told ITV that it was "the angriest I have ever seen him".

Thornberry quickly attempted to repair the damage, telling the Guardian: "I've been down in Rochester, you know, and I've been tweeting one or two quotes that, what people have said to me on the door step, and images that I've seen.

"Then I came across a house that was covered absolutely from the roof all the way down to the ground with England flags, they couldn't even see out of the window. It was an amazing image so I took a photograph of it and I put it on Twitter."

However her message has sparked outrage from politicians of all sides. Simon Danczuk, Labour's MP for Rochdale, told Mail Online it was "like the Labour Party has been hijacked by the north London liberal elite, and it's comments like that which reinforce that view".

The controversy heaps yet more pressure on Miliband, who is already reeling after reports that he has lost the faith of senior members of his party and many Labour MPs want a change of leader.

Today's by-election is widely expected to be won by Ukip, whose candidate Mark Reckless triggered the poll by defecting to Nigel Farage's eurosceptic party. One bookmaker has already paid out on a Ukip victory.