SNP expels pro-independence blogger over '˜anti-Semitic' claim

A pro-independence blogger who was accused of writing anti-Semitic comments about a Jewish union official has been expelled from the SNP.

An article on Gareth Wardell's blog sparked claims of anit semitism. Mr Wardell refutes the claim.

Gareth Wardell, who runs the Grouse Beater blog, was suspended from the party last month following the publication of a post about GMB official Rhea Wolfson and her role in the Glasgow City Council equal pay dispute.

It referred to Hitler “accusing ‘the Jew’ of gradually assuming leadership of the trade union movement”.

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Mr Wardell had denied the blog was anti-Semitic, arguing the essay was an attack on fascism.

The SNP today confirmed Mr Wardell’s membership of the party had been terminated.

A spokesman said: “The decision of the Member Conduct Committee has been reported to Mr Wardell. As he has a right to appeal, we’ll make no further comment until the process is complete.”

Responding to the decision on Twitter, Mr Wardell denied he had written anything anti-Semitic.

“I’ve been found guilty of a supposed train of thought. That’s a seriously worrying attitude from a supposedly humane and tolerant political movement,” he tweeted.

He said: “I gave the SNP £1,000 some time ago. I wonder if I should ask for it back? I could do with that money now to help take the wee unionist fascists to court.”

The blog, entitled GMB - A Cockney Clique – said it was “no surprise to learn the GMB was born in East London”, and accused it of being “another wing of the campaign to Bring Back the Great British Empire”.

In a section headed “Hitler’s view”, the blog said the Nazi leader had claimed Jews were gradually assuming leadership of the trade union movement.

It said: “Whether or not Wolfson is intellectually aware of Hitler’s outlook is unknown, but she certainly knows how to make the most of it.”