A Labour MP has resigned after posting a photograph on Twitter that featured a white van parked in front of a house in Rochester, Kent draped in flags of the St George’s Cross and accompanied by the caption : “Image from Rochester.”

Emily Thornberry, who sent the tweet while voting was taking place during the Rochester and Strood by-election on 20 November, stepped down from her position as shadow attorney general on Labour’s front bench having sparked the anger of party leader Ed Miliband.

According to the BBC, shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander said Miliband had not held back in expressing his displeasure at Thornberry’s tweet, which he felt showed a lack of respect towards voters.

John Mann, Labour MP for Bassetlaw in Doncaster, told the BBC’s Today programme Thornberry had insulted voters.

“It insults people like me, it insults the people I know – Labour voters across the country because white vans, England flags, they’re Labour values and actually pretty routine Labour values for most of us,” he said.

One of the house’s residents, Dan Ware, branded Thornberry, the MP for Islington South and Finsbury in north London, a “snob” but admitted to the Sun newspaper he could not remember when he had last voted.

Labour finished third in the by-election behind UKIP (UK Independence Party) and the Conservatives.