Bow Group's David Campbell-Bannerman joins a call for Lord Adonis to be dismissed after he said Brexit was like "Hitler appeasement"

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By John Stevens for the Mail Online

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Theresa May was last night under growing pressure to sack a Government adviser who caused fury by comparing Brexit to the appeasement of Hitler.

Labour peer Lord Adonis, who is chairman of the national infrastructure commission, yesterday refused to apologise for claiming the country’s decision to leave the EU could be as bad as Britain’s foreign policy in the 1930s.

Tories called on the Prime Minister to get rid of the Remain-supporting former transport secretary, but Downing Street said that while Mrs May disagreed with his comments, he would cling on to his job.

The Prime Minister’s spokesman said: ‘He is not a member of the Government. He is not a Conservative peer.

'His job is to provide independent advice to Government on infrastructure. That doesn’t have anything to do with the views he expressed on Brexit.

‘She completely disagrees with those views. His views on Brexit have no bearing on the position that he holds.'

The PM’s spokesman dismissed the suggestion that Mrs May should sack him in the same way she fired Lord Heseltine from several advisory roles, including as a national infrastructure commissioner, after he led a revolt in the Lords against the Government’s Brexit agenda in March.

She said that was different because Lord Heseltine was a Tory peer.

Labour said Lord Adonis, who quietly re-took the party whip last month after becoming a crossbencher two years ago, would receive a ticking off for his comments.

A party spokesman said: ‘He will be reminded of his responsibilities as a Labour peer.’ 

Lord Adonis had insisted that Britain must retain membership of the single market and customs union after Brexit.

He told The House magazine: ‘My language is usually pretty subdued in politics but anyone with a historical sense – and I’m a historian – recognises leaving the economic institutions of the EU, which have guided our destiny as a trading nation for half a century, is a very big step and the importance can’t be over-emphasised.

'To my mind, it’s as big a step that we’re taking as a country as decolonisation in the 1950s and 60s and appeasement in the 1930s.

‘We got it right on decolonisation, we got it wrong on appeasement and I think we’re in serious danger of getting it wrong in the way that we leave the EU.’

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: ‘He should be removed from any advisory role to government. He doesn’t really believe in democracy – just like Hitler.’

Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman added: ‘The comments made by Lord Adonis are simply disgusting and nutty, and he must be dismissed immediately.’

Prime ministers Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain appeased Nazi Germany in the 1930s by standing by when Hitler marched into the neutral Rhineland and agreeing to the partition of Czechoslovakia.

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