The great nephew of postwar Labour Prime Minister Clement Attlee has been suspended from the party after over 40 years – because of a year-old Facebook post.
John Macdonald, from Dunfermline, Fife, says he was informed that he was suspended as a result of abusive comments on social media.
The post in question – uploaded in August 2015 – is an image of David Cameron with a Hitler moustache, captioned with criticism of Tories and Blairite Labour supporters.
But the suspension – which occurred last Friday – came immediately after Mr Macdonald and his cousin Cath Attlee publically backed Jeremy Corbyn’s latest leadership campaign.
Mr Macdonald has now claimed that the Facebook post is being used as an excuse to rid the party of prominent Corbyn supporters.
He said: “Even if the allegation, which I refute, was proved to be true it is highly suspicious and self-evidently underhand to suspend a member during an election for the party leader, therefore invalidating their vote in the contest – particularly in such contentious times.
“It is absolutely clear to me it is because of my support for Corbyn.
“The post they are referring to was put up over a year ago so it is extraordinary to use it now.
“Someone has got paranoid and thought I am describing the Labour bureaucracy as fascist. They are making a big mistake.
“I would never describe the Labour Party as fascist.”
Mr Macdonald only discovered that he had been suspended when he contacted the party HQ to find out why his voting papers had not arrived.
He is now calling for an investigation into the conduct of those who are overseeing what some are calling a “purge” of the Labour Party.
The “Hitler” picture of David Cameron was accompanied with the text: “Both the Tory strategy and also the McTernan Blairite plan for the Labour Party when Corbyn wins
Superimposed on the picture is a quotation from Mein Kampf in which Hitler outlines how to take total control by taking “a little of their freedom at a time…until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed”.
A Labour Party spokesman said: “Officials in the Scottish Labour Party are consulted and informed regarding any action of this kind.
“In addition, the NEC includes a Scottish member.
“Ultimately, these decisions are not taken by the political leadership of the Labour Party, but by the NEC who are elected by members across the country.”
Clement Attlee was PM during the post-war years of 1945 to 1951.
Having overseen the formation of the NHS and the modern welfare state, he is regularly cited as one of the best prime ministers of all time.
He was also responsible for the National Insurance system – which provides pensions, as well as sickness and unemployment benefits.
To date he is also the longest serving leader of the Labour Party, having held the post from 1935 to 1955.