AN Alba Party candidate for the upcoming local election who said Vladimir Putin was his “hero” has withdrawn his intention to run for office.

John Jones, who announced he would run for a seat on Fife Council on Monday, also defended the Russian invasion of Ukraine, claiming Putin’s regime was “defending itself against Nazis”.

He suggested Ukraine - which has a Jewish president - was a Nazi country like Germany in the 1930s.

READ MORE: Alex Salmond suspends his show on RT following invasion of Ukraine

Jones, who had said he would run for Alba in the Lochgelly, Cardenden and Benarty ward, said that if Britain had acted in the 1930s as Russia is now, then World War Two would not have happened.

In a tweet sent at the end of January from his @goatintaeitatl2 Twitter account, Jones wrote: “Why is Putin always getting brought into shit. I wish my country had a leader like him.”

The National:

Elsewhere, he wrote of Putin nine days before the Ukraine invasion: “How I wish he was our leader, standing up for his country.”

In a third, sent at the end of December, he wrote: “Putin is my hero, standing up to the North Atlantic Terror Organisation, who are doing their damndest to create war in the world to sell armanents [sic]”.

Away from Russia and Ukraine, the former Alba candidate spoke out in favour of “forgiveness” for David Goodwillie, the footballer branded a rapist by a civil court whose signing for Raith Rovers caused national outrage.

Jones also suggested he would have thrown a bottle of urine at trans rights activists had he been present at one of their protests. He further said that any trans woman who wanted a gender recognition certificate should have their genitals removed “by law”.

He also has spoken out against SNP politicians including Ian Blackford and Angus Robertson, resorting to personal attacks using homophobic and body-shaming language to do so.

The National:

After Alba was contacted by the paper, the tweet announcing Jones’s candidacy, which had been shared by other Alba candidates, was deleted. His tweets referencing Putin were also deleted.

Later, the account itself was deleted altogether.

Alba told The National that Jones had withdrawn his candidacy before the tweets had come to light.

An Alba Party spokesperson told The National: “Mr Jones is not an Alba Party Candidate for the upcoming Scottish Local Authority elections. I can confirm that he had already withdrawn his prospective candidacy prior to historic tweets under a pseudonym being brought to my attention.

“Alba Party condemns the illegal invasion of Ukraine, just as the independence movement has condemned all illegal wars. We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and continue to call for renewed peace efforts.”