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Aidan Burley MP to step down after a 'difficult time'

Conservative Cannock Chase MP Aidan Burley has announced that he will stand down as a candidate at the next general election.

It was a wonderful surprise to win the seat of Cannock Chase in May 2010 with the biggest swing in the country and it has been a huge privilege to represent the people of Cannock Chase in Parliament over the past four years. I am grateful to all those who voted for me and supported our campaign which led to our famous victory, winning a seat which had been held by Labour for 18 years. In particular I would like to thank my Agent Ian Collard, without whom none of this would have been possible, and who has been my rock of support since being selected as the Conservative Candidate in July 2008.

I am proud to have been able to deliver many positive things for our area since our election success, including spearheading the campaign to save Cannock Chase Hospital from the administrators axe, running four local Jobs Fayres to help get people back into work, and securing £35 million to electrify the Chase Line. That is what really matters to local people in their day to day lives.

After a difficult time I have decided to announce I will stand down at the next general election. I will continue to work for the people of Cannock Chase until that election, and look forward to supporting my successor, as soon as he or she is selected, to ensure that Labour have no chance of re-taking this seat.

– Aidan Burley MP

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Tory MP at centre of Nazi row to step down at next election

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.

Read: Tory MP's regret over Nazi-themed stag party in France

Aidan Burley will step down as MP for Cannock Chase at the next election.
Aidan Burley will step down as MP for Cannock Chase at the next election. Credit: Andrew Parsons/PA Wire

'Stupid and offensive' Nazi stag do MP apologises

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.

Tory MP Aidan Burley, who organised a Nazi-themed stag party in France was 'stupid and offensive' but 'not racist
Tory MP Aidan Burley, who organised a Nazi-themed stag party in France was 'stupid and offensive' but 'not racist Credit: PA

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.

Dudley MP criticises report into Nazi-themed stag do MP

Ian Austin has criticised a Conservative Party report into the Cannock Chase MP
Ian Austin has criticised a Conservative Party report into the Cannock Chase MP Credit: PA Wire

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.

Prime Minister David Cameron with Aidan Burley in 2007
Prime Minister David Cameron with Aidan Burley in 2007 Credit: PA Wire

“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.”

Read: Cannock Chase MP's Nazi-themed stag do was 'stupid but not racist'

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Man at stag do organised by MP is fined for SS uniform

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.

Tory report says MP was 'stupid' but not racist over Nazi-themed stag do

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Tory inquiry: MP Aidan Burley 'purchased Nazi costume'

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."

Tory report says MP was 'stupid' but not racist over Nazi-themed stag do

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Tories: MP who organised Nazi-themed stag do 'stupid'

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.

Prime Minister David Cameron with Aidan Burley in 2007
Prime Minister David Cameron with Aidan Burley in 2007 Credit: Andrew Parsons/PA pool

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".

Only venomous snake native to Britain spotted in Cannock Chase

The adder is the only venomous snake native to Britain

The only venomous snake native to Britain, the adder has been spotted in Cannock Chase.

Viewer Sue Lynskey sent this photograph to ITV News Central warning walkers to beware as 'they give a nasty bite and dogs tread on them easily'.

Experts at the Forestry Commission say adders will only use their venom as a last means of defence, usually if caught or trodden on.

No one has died from an adder bite in Britain for over 20 years. With proper treatment, the worst effects are nausea and drowsiness, followed by severe swelling and bruising in the area of the bite.

For more information on Adders in the UK visit the Forestry Commission website.

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