MP Tom Harris quits media post over Hitler joke video

Labour MP Tom Harris apologises after posting a spoof video on the internet which portrays First Minister Alex Salmond as Hitler

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A Labour MP has stepped down from his internet adviser role after he posted a joke video portraying First Minister and SNP leader Alex Salmond as Hitler.

Tom Harris, who ran in the Scottish Labour Party leadership race last year, apologised for his actions.

He had been given the post of the party's new media guru after Johann Lamont was elected leader.

The SNP called the video "tasteless" and said it was "hugely embarrassing" for the Labour Party.

The controversial video takes footage from 2004 movie, Downfall, featuring Hitler's German voice with subtitled words from Mr Salmond.

The clip has been used to mock a number of well-known names, including former prime minister Gordon Brown.

Mr Harris published his version of the video, titled "Joan's Downfall", following a row involving SNP MSP Joan McAlpine who claimed that Labour and the Lib Dems were being "anti-Scottish" in their attitude to the planned independence referendum.

The Labour MP for Glasgow South said: "Having spoken to Johann, I have decided to step down from leading the party's social media review.

Start Quote

It is silly, negative nonsense like this that helps explain why Labour are in the doldrums in Scotland”

End Quote SNP spokesperson

"The video I posted has been a well worn joke used to parody a range of public figures.

"However, context is everything and in the context of Johann's and my desire to improve the level of political debate on social media and the context of Joan McAlpine's much more serious statements about all political opponents of the SNP being anti-Scottish, my actions have been an unhelpful distraction for which I apologise."

An SNP spokesperson said that across Scotland people wanted a debate on the country's future that focussed on "how we can go about making Scotland better".

The spokesperson added: "It is silly, negative nonsense like this that helps explain why Labour are in the doldrums in Scotland.

"It is hugely embarrassing for Labour that one of their MPs and a leadership contender - who should have better things to do with his time - is promoting tasteless stuff like this through his official MP website."

A Scottish Labour spokesperson said the party had to have "an adult debate" about Scotland's future.

The spokesperson added: "Attention is now focussing again on the SNP's refusal to take any action against their official ministerial aide Joan McAlpine for outrageously questioning people's Scottishness and patriotism if, like most people, they don't support separation."

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