Labour’s Twitter tsar steps down over Hitler video

By Ian Dunt

Labour's new media adviser has been forced to step down after uploading a spoof video which appears to compare Alex Salmond to Adolf Hitler.

Tom Harris, who is a popular and outspoken presence online, uploaded a parody based on the 2004 film Downfall, in which Adolf Hitler's frantic rants at generals are compared to Alex Salmond's plans for a referendum.

"The video I posted has been a well-worn joke used to parody a range of public figures," he said last night following talks with Johann Lamont, Labour’s Scottish leader.

"However, context is everything and in the context of Joan McAlpine's statements about all political opponents of the SNP being anti-Scottish, my actions have been an unhelpful distraction for which I apologise."

The spoof also lampooned Mr Salmond's failure to sack parliamentary aide Joan McAlpine for suggesting that those who opposed Scottish independence were "anti-Scottish".

The use of the scene from Downfall to parody a subject is hardly unprecedented. Thousands of similar parodies have used the same scene and changed the subtitles to fit their message on a number of subjects.

The resignation removes a significant Blairite voice from the Labour team. It is the second major online row to hit Labour so far this year, after Diane Abbott was forced to apologise for tweeting that white people "divide and rule".