Winston Churchill was a ‘racist and white supremacist’, a Labour candidate in next year’s general election has claimed.
The war leader’s grandson Sir Nicholas Soames today slammed the ‘deeply insulting’ views expressed by Benjamin Whittingham, who is standing for Parliament in the Wyre and Preston North seat.
The Labour candidate made the outburst on Twitter, after it was announced that Churchill would feature on the new £5 note.
The damning revelation comes after Labour was forced to suspend a candidate for claiming Adolf Hitler was Israel’s ‘Zionist God’.
Vicky Kirby, Labour’s candidate for Woking, Surrey, she would ‘never forget’ and make sure her kids knew ‘how evil Israel is’.
Ms Kirby was told of her suspension while on her way to the Labour party conference in Manchester.
Churchill’s grandson Sir Nicholas today called for Labour leader Ed Miliband to similarly take action against Mr Whittingham.
He told MailOnline: ‘The fact that these views are expressed within the Labour Party is deeply insulting to the memory of our greatest Prime Minister.’
He added: ‘Ed Miliband must take action against those in his party who hold abhorrent views. If he can’t do that he can never be up to the job of being Prime Minister.’
Mr Whittingham’s remarks are also in stark contrast to the esteem in which the two-time Prime Minister is held among the general public.
In a 2002 BBC poll Sir Winston was voted the Greatest Briton in history for his role defeating Germany.
Sir Winston led Britain between 1940 and 1945 – and again from 1951 to 1955. He also served in the British Army in India, Sudan and South Africa – while commanding a battalion in the First World War after resigning from the Cabinet.
Churchill is also the only British Prime Minister to have won the Nobel Prize in Literature and was granted the rare honour of a state funeral after his death in 1965.
But Labour’s Mr Whittingham, who describes his politics as ‘far left’, dismissed the statesman as a ‘racist’ who did not deserve to be honoured on the £5 note.
Mr Whittingham has also expressed his desire to renationalise the major utilities – including electricity, water and rail.
Churchill’s critics point to several of his caustic remarks and his handling of the 1943-44 Bengal famine when between one and three million Indians died of starvation.
He derided India’s independence leader Mahatma Gandhi as a ‘half-naked holy man’ and once said: ‘I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.’
On April 26 he wrote: ‘Bit disappointed Churchill is on the new £5 given he was a racist and white supremacist. Can’t go into the future with a foot in the past.’
But Mr Whittingham’s remarks are not his only controversial interventions online. He has also called for wage caps – claiming that it is ‘disgusting’ for people to be paid £100,000 when others are ‘on the breadline’.
His Facebook account also lists him as a member of the ‘Socialist Workers Party Edinburgh’ group, raising concerns about his links to the fringe militant group.
Labour’s own rule book states that ‘A member of the party who joins and or supports a political organisation other than an official Labour group or other unit of the party…shall automatically be ineligible to be or remain a party member’.
Mr Whittingham is not the first prominent Labour figure to criticise Churchill.
Former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell was accused of insulting the war leader after suggesting he told worse lies about D-Day than Tony Blair had about the Iraq War.
Mr Blair’s former director of communications, said Churchill used what the Second World War leader called a ‘bodyguard of lies’ to trick Hitler before the Normandy landings in June 1944 – and ‘lied’ to MPs afterwards to ‘keep various deceptions going’.
Campbell argued: ‘If the pollsters were to do a survey, who had a greater commitment to wartime truth, Churchill in the Second World War or Tony Blair in Iraq, I think we know what the answer would be . . . it just wouldn’t be true.’
But his assertion was challenged by Tory MP Colonel Bob Stewart, who led British forces in Bosnia.
‘For Campbell to suggest that Churchill was a bigger liar than Blair is deeply insulting to the memory of our greatest Prime Minister,’ said the Beckenham MP.
‘It is absurd to compare the disinformation used by Churchill to enhance our chance of victory in the Second World War to Tony Blair’s dodgy dossiers before the Iraq War.
‘Churchill exposed the truth about German rearmament. Blair, aided by the likes of Campbell, exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam’s weapons.
‘Britain went to war with Germany legally to defend Poland and Churchill used misinformation as part of British strategy and tactics.
‘The Blair Government used misinformation to drum up public support for a war that was probably illegal.’
Campbell was deeply involved in Blair’s notorious ‘45 minutes from doom’ dossier on the Iraq War in September 2002.
A few months later, the spin doctor was also associated with a separate so-called ‘dodgy dossier’ about Saddam Hussein’s weapons, which turned out to be a crude copy of out-of-date research.
A Labour Party spokesman said: ‘This comment does not represent the view of the Labour Party.’
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