Emails floating between NDP staffers at the Alberta Legislature are creating a controversy online after one image of Premier Rachel Notley holding a severed head of Rebel Media ringleader Ezra Levant was leaked. The image, which is similar to a shot of comedian Kathy Griffin holding a fake, bloodied head of U.S. President Donald Trump released on Twitter on Monday, has drawn a slew of angry responses in provincial political circles.

A Notley spokesperson claimed the work was the result of an overzealous opposition member and said she would investigate, although detractors aren’t exactly holding their breath.

Wildrose leader Brian Jean claimed the entire NDP party was in on creating and distributing the image, as if to send a message to right-wing media that the provincial party would not take negative comments about Rebel Media lightly and would exact revenge for hate-inspired reporting.

“This is their way of trying to discredit the media and that’s one step away from Notley trying to create a socialist dictatorship,” declared Jean. “Seriously, I’m waiting to see what they come up with next. I’d love the NDP to create a shot of me being crucified on a cross with a crown of thorns! That way, I get to show off my robust torso, complete with six-pack abs!”

“Keep you shirt on, dude!” responded Notley’s spokesperson.

“Look how bad the cropping is on that shot and the blood effect is a strictly amateur job. The NDP has an incredible graphics department and we can only conclude that the Wildrose planted the image to cast blame. We’re talking about a party so incompetent they couldn’t even hold their party together back in 2014. The substandard quality of this work goes hand-in-hand with the ineptness of the Wildrose’s performance as a pathetic opposition party.”

Progressive Conservative leader Jason Kenney claims the beheading shows total contempt for freedom of the press and will only backfire.

“We all know this will guarantee a swift exit of the NDP when the next election is held in two years,” said Kenney.

“The PCs would never do that. Geez, how do you think this party managed to stay in power for 44 years? You buy them off instead! How else do you think the Sun chain managed to survive all these years before they were taken over by Postmedia? Certainly not by subscriptions from angry conservative seniors living off their pensions! Believe me, a huge Tory war chest full of bribes is the only way to get the media on your side!”

Levant, upon seeing the image, plans to sue.

“This is disgraceful!” he said angrily. “Not only is it in horrible taste, but they don’t even get my good side. And that fake blood makes my face look fat!”