Conservative Cannock Chase MP Aidan Burley has announced that he will stand down as a candidate at the next general election.
Cannock Chase MP Aidan Burley has announced that he will stand down as a candidate at the next general election.
More to follow.
Aidan Burley, the Tory MP at the centre of a row over a Nazi-themed stag do, will step down as MP for Cannock Chase at the next election, he has announced.
A Conservative MP who organised a Nazi-themed stag party in France in 2011 has apologised for the incident again, after an internal party inquiry found that he was "stupid and offensive" but not racist.
Speaking to the Express & Star, the MP for Cannock Chase in Staffordshire admitted he bought the controversial fancy dress - but said he regretted his actions now.
He said he was not aware the outfit would be illegal in France, and said it was done to "mock" Nazis.
A number of people agreed on what the fancy dress should be and I was tasked with buying it.
I regret the incident and I hope now we can put it behind us. I apologised then and I apologise again now for my role in it.
The outfit was bought legally in London by me as best man and I take responsibility for that.
We did not know that wearing a fancy dress outfit would be illegal in France.
It was done in the spirit of mocking the Nazis. There was no malicious intent, no ideological motive, no desire to offend people. And that was borne out by the investigation by the French authorities.
The MP for Dudley has criticised a Conservative Party report into the MP for Cannock Chase who organised a Nazi-themed stag party in France.
Ian Austin says:
“He claimed at the time that this event was a fancy dress party, and he told his constituents and the Jewish Chronicle that he had not known what was going to happen.
“The trial in France and this report shows neither of those statements was true and it beggars belief that anyone should believe him now.
“His behaviour was an absolute disgrace and I can't understand why the Tories haven't removed the whip.”
The Conservatives' report on MP Aidan Burley was published after the conclusion of French legal proceedings against the groom at the "offensive" stag party.
Mark Fournier, for whom Mr Burley acted as best man, was fined 1,500 euros (about £1,200) for wearing an SS uniform and insignia, which is outlawed in France.
A court in Albertville also ordered the 33-year-old to pay 1,000 euros (about £820) to an organisation representing the families of Holocaust victims.
Neither Mr Burley nor any of the other 10 guests at the party were prosecuted.
The report confirmed that "as best man, Mr Burley purchased the costume alongside the flights and other costs associated with the trip on behalf of the other attendees.
"Mr Burley argued strongly that the choice of costume was inspired by the British comic association with aspects of the war," it said.
"He categorically denies that there was any political motivation whatsoever.
"He argued that the purchase and wearing of the Nazi costume is legal in the UK and that he was unaware that wearing the costume could be an offence in France.
"He regrets the offence caused by the wearing of the costume."
A Tory MP who organised a Nazi-themed stag party in France has been branded "stupid and offensive" by an internal inquiry by the party.
Aidan Burley was sacked as a ministerial aide in 2011 after the groom was pictured wearing an SS uniform in the Alpine ski resort of Val Thoren.
The inquiry has now been made public by the Conservatives after French legal proceedings were concluded.
The party's report found that while "Mr Burley is not a bad man, still less a racist or anti-Semite", his actions were "unacceptable and offensive".
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has dismissed Aidan Burley's claims of a left wing bias at the ceremony.
Mr Burley's comments come after the Prime Minister withdrew the Conservative whip from Aiden Burley last year.
He was pictured at a stag party in France last December sitting next to a man wearing a Nazi uniform. He apologised for the action of some guests then. Now, after his comments last night, Labour say he should apologise again.