SNP MP Peter Grant apologises for tweet about the Nazi party

SNP MP Peter Grant apologises for tweet claiming ‘murdering babies was not on Nazi manifesto until they’d been in power for several years’ from 1933 – despite Hitler writing of his desire to ‘gas’ Jews in 1925 book Mein Kampf

  • SNP MP Peter Grant, 60, tweeted in response to a post by GB New’s Andrew Neil
  • Mr Neil had retweeted a post about the Nazi murder of a Jewish toddler in 1944
  • Mr Grant said ‘murdering babies was not on Nazi manifesto’ before rise to power
  • Tweet was criticised by Marie van der Zyl, who also debunked Mr Grant’s claims
  • She replied to say Hitler had written about desire to gas Jews in Mein Kampf 

An MP who sparked a backlash with a Twitter post about the Nazi party has today apologised, admitting his comments were ‘highly insensitive’.

SNP politician Peter Grant, 60, faced widespread criticism after tweeting that ‘murdering babies’ was ‘not on the Nazi manifesto’ until after they came to power.

The MP, for Glenrothes, Fife, made the comment while replying to a Twitter post from veteran broadcaster Andrew Neil about the murder of a Jewish toddler, who was gassed by the Nazis in 1944. 

Mr Grant’s was criticised for his comments, including by The Board of Deputies of British Jews president Marie van der Zyl.

Ms van der Zyl also debunked Mr Grant’s claim, saying Hitler had written about gassing Jewish people in his book Mein Kampf in 1925 – several years before his Nazi party came to power.

Today Mr Grant, who has held his seat for the SNP since 2015, apologised for his comments in a Tweet, saying: ‘I want to apologise unreservedly for a highly insensitive tweet I posted.

SNP politician Peter Grant (pictured), 60, faced widespread criticism after tweeting that ‘murdering babies’ was ‘not on the Nazi manifesto’ until after they came to power

Mr Grant’s was criticised for his comments, including by The Board of Deputies of British Jews president Marie van der Zyl (pictured)

Today Mr Grant, who has held his seat for the SNP since 2015, apologised for his comments in a Tweet (pictured) which said: ‘I want to apologise unreservedly for a highly insensitive tweet I posted’

Mein Kampf – translated as ‘My Struggle’ is an anti-Semitic autobiographical manifesto written by Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler.

Hitler began writing the book while in prison in 1923 after being arrested for his failed Munich Putsch – in which his supporters attempted to stage a coup.

In the book he describes how he becomes increasingly anti-Semitic and militaristic.

He then blames the struggles of Germany on Jewish people, along with Marxists and the Social Democrats.

Historians widely regard the punishing terms of the post First World War peace treaty for Germany’s struggles in the 1920s and 1930s.

In Mein Kampf, Hitler also says of his desire to ‘exterminate the international poisoners of our people’ and how thousands of Jews should have been ‘subjected to poison gas’.

The book was published in 1925, though became more popular after the Nazi party’s rise to power in 1933. 

Hitler’s Nazi party would systematically murder some six million across German-occupied Europe between 1941 and 1945 in what is now known as the Holocaust.

‘While I strongly believe we must always be vigilant to the seeds of racism, anti-Semitism, and fascism, I deeply regret how I made that point and I have deleted the tweet.’

The MP had replied to GB News chairman Mr Neil, who had shared a Tweet from the Auschwitz Memorial.

The tweet highlighted the murder of Robert Blau, a toddler from Hungary who was murdered by the Nazis in 1944, before his first birthday. 

Mr Neil, retweeting the post, wrote: ‘As accusations of fascism are bandied about today like confetti by the ignorant, ludicrously devaluing the word of any meaning, a reminder of what real fascism can do. And of its unconscionable evil.’   

It prompted a response by Mr Grant, who In a now-deleted tweet, wrote: ‘You’re more right than you care to admit. Murdering babies wasn’t on the Nazi manifesto.

‘Not until they’d been in power several years & stoked up fear & hatred against innocent citizens. Then, and only then, did they show their true colours.’

Mr Grant, who was previously the SNP’s Brexit spokesman, came under fire for his comments, including from Ms van der Zyl, who has urged MPs to be careful with their language.

Marie said: ‘We are disturbed by the suggestion from some MPs that Nazism only gradually revealed its true aims.

‘In reality, Hitler was always open about his aims – in 1925, well before the Nazis came to power, he had already written in Mein Kampf about the need to ‘exterminate the international poisoners of our people’ and how thousands of Jews should have been ‘subjected to poison gas’.

‘The overwhelming majority of comparisons to the Nazis are extremely inappropriate, and we would urge people, particularly Parliamentarians, to choose their words with far more care.’

Scottish Conservative chief whip Stephen Kerr said: ‘For an elected SNP MP to post this was hugely offensive as well as being completely inaccurate.

‘It beggars belief that any elected representative would think this sort of language was appropriate as part of a political debate. It has absolutely no place in civil discourse.

‘This was a warped tweet and gave a worrying insight into what this SNP MP believes. Peter Grant must urgently apologise and reflect on this shameful behaviour.’

Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael said: ‘The horrors of what the Nazis did are of a level that comparisons are rarely acceptable.

‘Peter Grant’s comments and implied comparison are nowhere near acceptable or appropriate.

‘If he is to remain in the SNP then he should withdraw his comments, apologise and undertake to get some proper education on the Holocaust.’ 

Mr Grant has been part of the Scottish nationalist party since 1992, when he was elected as a councillor in Glenrothes, before later becoming a council leader.

He became the area’s MP in 2015 after defeating the defending Labour candidate in the General Election. He held the seat for the SNP in 2017 and 2019.

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