Tosh McDonald, the president of the ASLEF train drivers union, has compared former shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn to Hitler.
Speaking at a fringe event at the TUC conference in Brighton on Monday evening, the union leader attacked Benn for supporting the expansion of RAF military strikes against Isis from Iraq into Syria.
Benn told the Commons in December Western military action against Isis was similar to the “fight against Franco” in the 1930s.
But as the Daily Telegraph reports, McDonald said it was Benn and the West who were like the fascist leaders.
“The only comparison I can draw is with Hitler and Mussolini, bombing the republican lines in Spain,” he said.
Benn hit back on Twitter: “How can you equate the fascists of Daesh with the republicans fighting Franco in Spain?”
McDonald is supporting Jeremy Corbyn in his leadership battle against Owen Smith. In a recent interview with The Huffington Post, the union leader also attacked Benn for supporting military action
“I have no problem with somebody who votes with their conscience, Jeremy Corbyn did it many times from the backbenchers. But when you do it from the frontbench, against the leader – and I’m talking about the vote on Syria now – when you get a standing ovation from the Tory frontbench, there’s something you have to question,” he said.
McDonald added: “I think he wants to be a politician, I don’t believe he wants to be a Labour politician.”
In December last year, Benn gave a passionate speech in favour of military strikes against Isis.
His position was in direct opposition to Corbyn - who had earlier told the Commons that it should not authorise David Cameron’s plan.
Benn told MPs:
“What we know about fascists is that they need to be defeated. It is why, as we have heard tonight, socialists, trade unionists and others joined the International Brigade in the 1930s to fight against Franco. It is why this entire House stood up against Hitler and Mussolini.”
The split between Benn and Corbyn illustrated the divisions within the Labour Party. Corbyn’s decision to fire Benn from the shadow cabinet in June came at the start of a wave of resignations from the Labour leader’s frontbench.
The event on Monday also heard from shadow chancellor John McDonnell.