AN SNP councillor has apologised for sharing a controversial blog citing Hitler and Mein Kampf to criticise a Jewish trade union official, while the author has been suspended from the party.

West Lothian councillor Frank Anderson had initially defended the 1800-word post on the Grouse Beater website attacking Rhea Wolfson, a GMB Scotland organiser and Labour Party candidate, for her role in organising the equal pay strikes that saw 8000 women take to the streets of Glasgow last week.

But the councillor said he has “now had the opportunity to properly understand the offence caused to Rhea Wolfson by this blog” and has changed his mind.

The post by Gareth Wardell, a former artistic director of the Scottish Youth Theatre, says Wolfson’s "voice is the stuff of fascist demagoguery”.

And in a section entitled Hitler’s View, Wardell writes: "According to fascist policy – which we see arising everywhere in the UK and abroad – unions must be smashed to render workers isolated, prepared to accept whatever is offered.

“In Part 1 of Mein Kampf Hitler attacks unions over and over again. Unions are fascism’s Public Enemy Number 1. He went further. He accused ‘The Jew’ of gradually assuming leadership of the trade union movement. Hitler wanted a blindly obedient fighting force loyal only to the national leader of government.

READ MORE: SNP councillor mounts defence of controversial trade union blog

“Whether or not Wolfson is intellectually aware of Hitler’s outlook is unknown but she is certainly commendably assiduous in condemning anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, however, Labour’s travails over its alleged anti-Semitism isn’t for this essay.”

Wolfson was sent a copy of the blog post by its author on Sunday morning. She said the author was “defending trade unions by warning people not to allow Jews to take them over”.

She added: “It’s profoundly disturbing watching people attack trade unions – an essential part of democracy – for their own political/constitutional ends but this is another fascist beast entirely."

A link to the article, which was denounced by Labour as “anti-Semitic”, was shared by the SNP branches for Livingston East, Edinburgh Eastern and Councillor Anderson.

Labour MSP Neil Findlay said it was “simply unacceptable that this vile anti-Semitic blog has been promoted by various SNP accounts”.

When asked for a comment yesterday, Councillor Anderson defended Wardell’s post. He told The National: “Firstly, I don’t accept that it was an anti-Semitic article, nor was I aware of any of Miss Wolfson’s Jewish heritage.

“The article was, in context, about the self-serving attitude of Labour regarding the equal pay struggle.

“I have never been anti-Semitic in my life. I think Findlay is trying to read something into this which is not there.

But today, he said: “I’ve now had the opportunity to properly understand the offence caused to Rhea Wolfson by this blog.

“I was unaware of her Jewish heritage and therefore did not appreciate how hurtful the words would be.

“I unreservedly apologise to her for my embarrassing lack of understanding of these issues and my part in the offence that she has suffered.”

The SNP said the blog “should not have been shared by any SNP member” and said it would consider any complaints of anti-Semitism received as a result.

Wardell has been suspended from the party.

In a statement to The Herald, before his membership was revoked, Wardell said: “The only sinister aspect to my essay is the way political opponents tried to make it sound sinister. They use the fascist language it warns about, anti-intellectual, portraying everything in terms of 'them and us'.

“Ms Wolfson has been grievously misled. When advised what they were up to I strengthened the praise of her anti-Semitic stance in relation to Labour's troubles.

“In this case it's quite a stretch for me to be anti-Semitic brought up in Jewish family.”

After the suspension, Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf tweeted: “We all have a responsibility to stamp out anti-Semitism wherever we see it – within or outwith.”