ITV Emmerdale's Tom King takes vile swipe at Belle Dingle's appearance in cruel gaslighting twist

Emmerdale fans were left disgusted during the latest visit to the Dales, as Tom King turned on his wife Belle Dingle with harsh taunts in a marked escalation of his abusive behaviour towards her.

As the ITV soap delves into a coercive control storyline involving the couple, his abuse took a significant turn as he began to make cruel remarks about her looks and mock her mental health. A day after deliberately undermining her self-esteem and attempting to make her feel worthless, Tom ramped up the aggression in the most recent episode, all while trying to paint Belle as the one at fault.

So far, we've seen Tom work on isolating Belle from her friends and family, while also pressuring her to quit her job. Tom is intent on controlling Belle's life and preventing her from having any independence, encouraging her to stay home all day and look after their puppy Piper.

Tom has also been pushing Belle to start a family, while making snide comments about her and her family to make her feel inferior to him. But with the manipulation and control intensifying, he's finally achieved what he wanted by keeping an eye on her through the puppy cam and the new home security cameras, not to mention the tracking app he installed on her phone.

With the tense storyline heating up, it's since been revealed that he's moved on to a new form of manipulation of Belle. In a previous episode, he was seen flirting outrageously with Gabby Thomas and gushing about her incredible credentials right in front of an already twitchy Belle, reports the Mirror.

Moreover, it seems he's set on casting Belle as the villain, suggesting she's controlling and holding him back. To add insult to the injury, he even started using Gabby in his ploy to make Belle feel insecure, praising Gabby for being a successful businesswoman who made the wise decision to have a child at a young age.

In Friday's episode, a distressed Belle took Tom to task over his interaction with Gabby, which was causing her anxiety and even leading her wonder why he wedded her at all. Tom cleverly turned the tables right back onto Belle citing her anxiety was illustrative of a non-existent problem that she was making up.

Interestingly, while he claimed there was no issue, he couldn't resist throwing subliminal digs at Belle by saying that Gabby has better dress sense than her and hinted, somewhat pointedly, that his wife "could learn a few things from her". His remarks that Gabby "always looks great" were notably followed by referring to Belle as a mere girl compared to Gabby, who he called a woman.

Things came to a head when Belle highlighted his behaviour of making her feel inadequate, causing Tom to explode angrily insisting his love wasn't ever enough for her. He accused her anxieties of ruining their carefree day, leaving Belle feeling pressured to alter her outfit to appease him.

Belle meanwhile was left to suffer in silence as Tom callously berated and insulted her
Belle meanwhile was left to suffer in silence as Tom callously berated and insulted her

He told her she looked "fine" and became sulky over her getting ready taking too long, before making a negative comment about her outfit suggesting something was wrong with it. He went on to make her feel insecure by saying Gabby looked great, before telling her it should mean something to her that he chose to marry her over other girls.

Things then escalated to the point where he told her to "stop whinging" and that she needed to stop feeling anxious, and to never bring up her feelings or her past with him as that was apparently done with. He then physically dragged her out the door to go to the fair, telling her they needed to go before she moaned about anything else.

Viewers were left fuming for Belle, with one writing: "Did Tom really say to Belle about her dress sense? " Another said: "Shut up Tom! " As a third added: "I really want Tom to get exposed and get his comeuppance."