The Mail Online report:

Peter Scott-Smith said he had made the salute out of frustration after Mr Thwaite refused to answer his question about why a Freedom of Information request he had made about councillors’ expenses had not been responded to.

He said: ‘I was told to shut up and sit down – not exactly in those words – and I refused to do so,’ he said. ‘It developed into a shouting match between the chairman and me and I walked out saying: ‘Heil Hitler’.

‘It seemed to me very reminiscent of the early days of the Nazis in which dissent was quickly quashed. I know that is grossly melodramatic but that is how I felt at the time.’

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I am a journalist and author. I am a staff writer at the UK edition of WIRED magazine and in 2015 my book, Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. I created FOI Directory in 2012.