A new book delves into the life of a left-wing, liberal politician turned fascist, written by none other than his own son.

In 1924 John Beckett was Labour’s youngest elected MP, but 10 years later he had retired from politics and joined the British Union of Fascists, also known as the Mosley fascists, and became their propaganda chief.

A notorious British anti-Semite, John’s own mother was Jewish but he successfully hid his ancestry throughout his life, telling people his mother’s family were “fisher folk from the east coast” when in fact his ancestors were Solomons, Isaacs and Jacobsons, originally from Prussia.

He later formed his own right-wing group, the National Socialist League, with William Joyce.

William was the last person to be executed for treason in the UK, in 1946, after spending the war years in Germany where he conducted radio broadcasts to Britain that promoted fascism and called for the Allies to surrender.

John, considered a threat to the war effort, spent this time in prison in the UK. For the rest of his life he and his family were monitored by the government.

In Fascist in the Family Francis describes his childhood in Croxley Green as the son of someone who he believes was “one of the most hated men in the country”.

Francis, who know lives in Finchley, was kept in the dark to all of these details about his father’s life until many years after his death is 1964. Now he offers a brutally honest account into his father, whom he labels “a troubled man in turbulent times”.

Francis is an author, journalist, playwright and historian. His 18 books include biographies of four former Prime Ministers.

He was once the president of the National Union of Journalists, and a Labour Party and trade union press officer and editor.

Fascist in the Family is published by Routledge.