Tory Council Leader Suspended for Dressing As Hitler


Mike Gardner in Hitler costume

The leader of Harrogate Borough Council has been suspended from the Conservative Party after being photographed dressed as Adolf Hitler.

Mike Gardner, who was pictured giving a Nazi salute at a fancy dress party, said he had done “nothing wrong”.

He has vowed to remain as leader of the Conservative-controlled council, serving as an independent.

Conservative Party headquarters said he had been suspended pending an investigation into his conduct.

Asked why he had chosen to wear the Nazi-style uniform, Mr Gardner said: “It’s one of those situations, you had to be there.

“There was nothing wrong, it was just good fun. I was at a fancy dress party, it was nothing more.”

He said the Conservative Party’s decision to suspend him had been “very improper”.

‘Disgusted’ by decisionThe images were taken from a Facebook page, which Mr Gardner said was a “total violation of my privacy”.

He said: “I am a councillor who represents the people, politics is not my thing, serving the people is my game.

“I am disgusted about what the Conservatives have decided to do.

“I serve the people of Harrogate and serve them very well actually.

“If I have gone wrong I will apologise now to the people of Harrogate, if I have offended them in any way.”

A council spokesman confirmed that Mr Gardner was still leader but nobody from the local authority was available for further comment on Friday.

64 comments on “Tory Council Leader Suspended for Dressing As Hitler

  1. I imagine there’s going to be many more moments like this for the Tories over the next few years.

  2. The thing I love is that there are thousands of morons who are on Facebook and Twitter because they’ve been told it’s a must in the 21st century and then they’re outraged to learn that the whole world is reading / looking at their bigoted opinions / actions.

  3. I’ve always said a rightwinger + camera = pure comedy gold. I’d love to see this bloke and Prince Harry plan a party together !

  4. right wing cuts
    murdoch praise for Coalition
    and now Tory leader dresses up at a future English King


  5. As the last of the WW2 generation fade into history, the taboos surrounding how and where the image of Hitler is depicted, e.g. at fancy dress parties, will inevitably fade too. If there is more sinister to this story than someone donning a fancy dress costume and sending up an historical figure, then yes there is cause for serious concern. If not, then it’s a bit tasteless and premature, but not exactly a hanging offense.

  6. Icepick on said:

    the taboos surrounding how and where the image of Hitler is depicted, e.g. at fancy dress parties, will inevitably fade too.

    What planet are you on? There was far less of a taboo in the past. Basil Fawlty goosestepping? Sid Vicious wearing a swastika t-shirt? Ring any bells?

    What is actually happening is that a new, deeply repressive taboo is being created, whereby anything at all that might be deemed offensive by possibly anyone is to be condemned and the perpetrator sanctioned. It’s clear that the Tankie/Trots in this forum, as usual, are firmly on the side of social conformity. Also as usual, they are the last to notice a disturning social trend because they are so busy cluelessly tailing it.

  7. #7, So you don’t find a Tory politician dressing up as Hitler for laughs offensive?
    Tells us all we need to know about your politics shit for brains.

  8. Our grandparents fought for an Englishman’s inalienable right to dress up as Hitler. It’s a fine old tradition. Somewhere I have a family photograph, dated around 1940, of an uncle impersonating him – just before he was drafted into the mines (as a Bevin Boy) followed by the Navy.

  9. #14, the relatives and descendants of 6 million Jews?
    The Hitler regime engaged in industrialised genocide.
    Call me old fashioned but I don’t find that funny.

  10. #9,Tell me Edless Falseman! Would you find a Labour politician dressing up as Stalin for laughs just as offensive? 99% of British people would be more offended being told they had shit for brains than seeing someone dressed up as Adolf Hitler!

  11. @15

    Sure, and I guess The Producers was awful too and what about the Hitler references in Zelig.

  12. @16 and 17

    I wouldn’t be offended if a politician (Labour or other) dressed up as Stalin. Now, if someone shows me information that this character is actually keen on Hitler, then fine he should be expelled.

  13. @20, the difference being you ignorant moron that these are satirists.
    Mike Gardner is a Conservative politician.
    There’s a difference.
    If you don’t understand that then you’re a victim of post modernism gone mad.

  14. In the cold weather, I have seen one of my local Conservative town councillors wearing a Soviet army-style hat, replete with red star and hammer-and-sickle badge. I wouldn’t suspect him of any secret penchant for Marxism-Leninism, though.

    On the other hand, if the Tories in Harrogate want to tear themselves apart over their own poor taste in fancy dress, who are we to stop them?

  15. #7

    Don’t talk such absolute bollocks. It’s the Tory Party that has suspended him, & they’ve done it for the simple reason that having one of their members dress up as a Nazi, even for a joke, makes them look bad. Not just to “Tankies” & “Trots”, but to most people.

    As for Mike Gardner himself, such behaviour indicates that he is an idiot.

  16. robert on said:

    He only had one ball
    Had two but very small
    Had something similar
    Poor old Goebbels had no balls at all

    Vote Tory!

  17. @22

    Interesting. Quick to the personal insults are we Eddie boy? I generally find that’s not a characteristic of intelligence.

  18. howard on said:

    Icepick,you are on to it.Its your monogram that the Trotsykist find offensive,i don!t think they would disagree with the intent of your post,being that the Cons,are at times showing their utter contempt for the socialist belief.

    Leon!s followers have a very thin skin,they should thiken that,tends to obscure the need.

  19. lone nut on said:

    “the relatives and descendants of 6 million Jews?”
    I think you will find Eddie, that those relatives and descendants would be a lot more offended by your views on Israel/Palestine than they would be by a foolish party prank. So you should beware of starting down that path. The problem is, as Icepick points out, that far leftists generally have absolutely no commitment to freedom of speech or expression or understanding of its importance, and generally can be found espousing the most reactionary conformities when it comes to “offensive” behaviour.

  20. John Green on said:

    Big wow ! nothing wrong with his private antics in my view just muppets jealous of his position and power trying to drag a good man down ! Ask yourself if you have ever done the Natzi salute in your lifetime Im pretty sure everyone would eat humble pie..

  21. Tony from AUS on said:

    As a descendant of one of those 6 million can I just say that what I find most offensive of all is Zionist scum using the memory of Hitler’s victims to justify the racist oppression and murder of Palestinians (and Lebanese).

    And, according to the accepted norms of current political discourse in the West, as a descendant of one of Hitler’s *Jewish* victims, I’m allowed to comment. If I was a descendant of one of his Romani victims, the onus would be on me to shut up and integrate into Europe’s superior civilized values.

    I find the writing out of history of Hitler’s non-Jewish victims offensive. How many people know that in Germany’s Western zones, homosexual survivors were taken from the camps to jail.

    The most reactionary conformity of all is the delegitimisation as “antisemitic” of the democratic, pro-humanity view that no Apartheid state has a right to exist.

    [PS. On the subject of politicians wearing Nazi uniforms, this is far less offensive than when they carry out Nazi policies. The fact that Tony Blair didn’t go in for Nazi uniforms doesn’t change the fact that he killed millions.]

  22. lone nut on said:

    “As a descendant of one of those 6 million can I just say that what I find most offensive of all is Zionist scum using the memory of Hitler’s victims to justify the racist oppression and murder of Palestinians (and Lebanese).”
    Yes,the point is that you would be in a minority (albeit a very honourable one) among those descendants, most of whom would be, as you tastefully put it, “Zionist scum”. I would not want minorities to be silenced, however, because majorities find their behaviour offensive, whether it is you or the hapless Mike Gardner.

  23. paul fauvet on said:

    The fact that this Tory clown chose to dress up as Hitler, rather than as Napoleon, or Julius Caesar is rather telling.

    Yes, it was a joke. But jokes in bad taste, quite correctly, carry a political price when the person making them is a politician.

    “Ask yourself if you have ever done the Natzi salute in your lifetime”, says John Green. No, I have never used the Nazi salute, and I have never seen any of my friends or comrades using it either. And I also know how to spell Nazi.

  24. Yes Paul, you are up there with Copernicus and Gallileo. It has always been symptomatic of neo-Nazis that they exhibit clear signs of mental disturbance- in your case delusions of grandeur.I assume you are the next Fuhrer in waiting as well?

  25. paul fauvet on said:

    There is a rather key difference between Galileo and Paul Maleski. Galileo was right, and the earth does indeed go round the sun.

    “Tens of millions of Russians butchered by Jews”, however, is just a pathetic anti-semitic fantasy. Presumably Maleski believes the Nazi propaganda that the words communist and jew are synonymous.

  26. paul fauvet on said:

    P.S. I suggest that Socialist Unity leaves the current exchange with Maleski on the blog, but promptly eliminates any future holocaust denial.

  27. This nothing though. Livingstone and Galloway are constantly praising fascist murderers like Mao and its OK.

    Freedom of speech I guess. This is a Western democracy, not Cuba or the P.R.C, Andy.

  28. Anonymous on said:

    Paul why is a nice Jewish Boy coming out with stuff like this form the Maleski’s and their close kindred the Malewski’s came to the East End from a part of the Russian Empire that is now Poland, Jews or Slavs they would be sub human no matter which according to the Nasties.

  29. tony collins on said:

    “traditional family destruction, the promotion of homosexuality, drugs, dead head pop music, gun-crime, bad manners and the irreversible bastardization of the white race”

    Us Jews sure know how to throw a party.

    Actually, this kind of deluded conspiracy nonsense was what sent me on my journey to being a proper lefty: Common among all this lunacy was that “promotion of homosexuality” was a big conspiracy by Jews/Aliens/Illuminati/The Committee Of 300 (look it up)/NWO to destroy the family and thus control people.

    As a gay man who had become confident about my own sexuality, that jarred so much. I mean, it’s possible to fall for the lie about a small group of people controlling wars, money, banking, etc., cos it provides a narrative to explain all the bad stuff around us.

    But… promotion of homosexuality? That, above all else, showed what nonsense this all was. The ability for me to not be sacked or made homeless on the basis of who I sleep with – that’s a conspiracy to destroy the family?

    I remember reading the “Committee of 300” book, where it had a paragraph about “the filthy interaction between two homosexuals writhing in pigswill” as part of their dastardly plan.

    Now, I love rolling around in my own filth as much as the next man, but it’s usually cos I’m too lazy to hoover.

  30. Darkness at Noon on said:

    “As a descendant of one of those 6 million can I just say that what I find most offensive of all is Zionist scum using the memory of Hitler’s victims to justify the racist oppression and murder of Palestinians (and Lebanese).”

    Well I’m also such a descendant (Oh! Please pity me!) but apart from a handful of ideological lunatics, no one ‘justifies’ the oppression of Palestinians by ‘using’ the memory of Shoah victims. That’s just a slur adopted by the extreme left and right.

  31. Evan Pritchard on said:

    Darkness at Noon.

    While I agree with Lone Nut in one sense in his/ her responses to other contributors, it cannot be denied that there is a tendency within zionism exactly to justify the oppression of the Palestinians with reference to the Holocaust.

    It is a tendency fairly prevalent among non-Jewish zionist sympathisers (an expression of unspoken guilt combined with islamaphobia) as well as Jewish zionists.

    Unfortunately this is no slur.

  32. Tony from AUS on said:

    #47 You obviously live in a parallel universe. In this one if you propose that Jews living in Palestine should have no more rights than anyone else, that is no right to a Jewish-by-definition state, (or suggest that, in assesing the right to migrate to the country, real connections — such as ancestors ethnically cleansed in 1948 — should count for more than fairy stories about what happened in AD70) and you almost instantly get accused of being an ideological descendent of Hitler. Try it.

    Incidentally, the idea that Jews should have their own state, outside Europe, does not contradict the beliefs of the European antiSemitism.

    My angry, off-topic post earlier on this thread was a reaction to the way the endless fetishised memory of the Nazi holocaust (while forgetting the non-Jewish victims) has become a way of ignoring all the holocaust’s which happened before, at the same as, and after Hitler’s, and are still happening today. Talk to a non-Indigenous Australian about genocide and a common response is “it could never happen here”. this is despite the genocide of Indigenous Australians being a better contender than Hitler’s holocaust for the dubious distinction of worst genocide in modern history (and unlike the Nazi genocide of Jews the genocide of Australian Aboriginals is still continuing).

    Hitler himself expressed admiration for what the British settlers did in Tasmania.

    Under our last-but-one PM, the arch-conservative John Howard, holocaust denial was elevated to the status of national ideology, with the PM denouncing as unpatriotic what he called “the black armband view of history” — by “black armband view of history” he meant a factual account of what actually happened. At the same time, wacky neo-Nazi ideologues were hauled before the courts for denying the Nazi holocaust.

    To return to the topic of the thread, Nazi dress-ups, I’ll pose a question about Prince Harry: which is more offensive, the Prince dressed in a Nazi uniform, or the Prince dressed in a British army uniform? Clue: the machine-gun protruding from between HRH’s legs in this picture is real and when he shoots his load it is statistically more likely to be at civilians than armed insurgents

  33. Mark Victorystooge on said:

    I notice that before he was deleted, Maleski claimed to be backed “from the grave” by Orwell and Solzhenitsyn.

    Both are anti-Communist paladins. I am used to Eric Blair being a poster boy of the right, though some think he was a “socialist”. It is a new departure for a Nazi to claim his legacy, though.

    Solzhenitsyn is a bit less of a stretch. A Great Russian chauvinist, he thought the Bolsheviks, the October Revolution and the USSR were un-Russian, and came as close to thinking it was all “Jewish Bolshevism” as he dared without openly doing a Sergei Nilus. Solzhenitsyn also wanted Vlasov and ROA rehabilitated, which has still not happened even in post-USSR Russia – not surprising, as they were Nazi collaborators.

  34. Scottish Socialist on said:


    I’m not sure what ‘post-modernism gone mad’ has to do with anything.

  35. ross bradshaw on said:

    “politics is not my thing”, says the suspended Conservative leader of the Harrogate Council. Now I hate the Tories same as the next person, but, um, aren’t they a political party? This guy is dickhead, in or out of uniform.

  36. Charles Dexter Ward on said:

    Who exactly are these PC Tories worried will be offended by someone dressing up and taking the piss out of Hitler? The only people I can think of are Nazis, in which case they’d better ban “Dad’s Army”.

    Are we still allowed to take the piss out of Nick Griffin, does anyone know?

  37. “PC Tories”? Hardly. They just realise that come election time, there’s a very good chance that their opponents will use that image on their material if Mike Gardner is still leader. The Tories have never been sentimental about dumping people who are a liability. As Mike Gardner seems to have found out.

  38. Anonymous on said:


    Brilliant! Downside is that “Blakey” was a renowned campaigner for the Labour Party!

  39. Anonymous on said:

    #59 Brilliant! Downside is that “Blakey” was a renowned campaigner for the Labour Party!

  40. “For you my funny English friend, ze tory career iz over!”

    Apart from Daily Mail staff at office parties, who else likes to dress up in Nazi uniform, as well as give the Nazi salute I wonder –
    Oppose English Defence League in Blackburn Lancs Sat 2nd October 2010
    UK Indymedia
    02 Oct 2010

    Mayor Boris’s office doesn’t seem to want to cough up the webpage I’m looking for regarding Daily Mail hypocrisy over Mayor Livingstone’s remarks to a (Jewish) reporter of theirs, and its staff dressing up in SS uniform, but here is the link anyway for what its worth – webpage

    My apologies Francis.
    I wasn’t reading the thread and thought you were refering to me.
    Take care.

  41. With all the social cleansing and the mass deportation of the poorer out of London it wont be long before it will be compulusory for all Conservative Politicians to be dressed like Adolf Hitler before entering The House’s of Parliament.

  42. I was in Harrogate researching my late dads ww2 days at 7PRC( Force Ballad)when the article came out.I informed the Harrogate Advertiser of my views,namely:
    1.It was a spoof in a private party by a person whose dad like my dad was a ww2 pilot.2.The press should have been more responsive to post war German generations sentiments by not publishing the photo etc.(by and large most Germans today feel terrible about their ww2 heritage.However bear in mind that the hall of mirrors mirrored the way for Hitlers rise, and Alexander, Genghis, Napoleon etc are not viewed so badly as Hitler primarily due to barbaric gassing, though worse Indo Pak partition carnage, does not even have a museum to this day.No book contains more hatred than Hitlers chapter on the Jews in Mein Kampf.)3. Finally evn Sky news allowed the Taliban to ride piggyback by not countering that the Koran states that the first loyalty is to the Country and then to the Ummah.Don’t forget Kim Philbys ideological war-MI-6″s first postwar anti comm head!!Read Defence Of The Realem.Thank God dad flew against the Japs in Burma.What would India been under a “Shogun Samurai” heel along with SC Bose”s INA?68 yrs later the Brits were as warm as ever.On the other hand, Indonesian pilot friends told me about their Dutch rule.Lets move on to current threats caused in part by lack of tax utilisation transparency and wisdom.
    regards kojak(Wg Cdr KJ”kojak” Bhatt)