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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


Conservative MP regrets Nazi-themed party incident

A Conservative MP who organised a Nazi-themed stag party in France in 2011 has apologised once again for the incident, after an internal party inquiry found that he was "stupid and offensive" but not racist.

"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," Mr Burley told the Wolverhampton Express and Star.

Conservative MP Aidan Burley, who organised a Nazi-themed stag party in France was 'stupid and offensive'. Credit: PA Wire

Asked about the circumstances in which he bought the Nazi costume, the MP said: "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."

Inquiry: Tory MP should have made objections clear

The Conservatives' internal inquiry into MP Aidan Burley said that despite accepting that he left the dinner in protest at one guest raising a Nazi-themed toast, he failed to make it "explicitly clear" that he objected.

"Given the standards expected of a Member of Parliament, he should have done so."

After the incident was made public in 2011, the Conservative MP Aidan Burley wrote a letter to the Jewish Chronicle in which he claimed he "wished I left as soon as I had realised what was happening."

On reflection, I wish I had left as soon as I had realised what was happening. What was happening was wrong and I should have completely dissociated myself from it.

I had a choice, and I made the wrong choice NOT to leave.

I apologise for this error of judgment.

– Aidan Burley to the Jewish Chronicle

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 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


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 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".

Burley: 'Trite attempts to focus on some modern parts of our multiculturalism'

Speaking to ITV Central, Aidan Burley said his tweets stemmed from watching the opening ceremony and seeing "things like the CND symbol being lit up for 20 minutes".

At that point, he says, "I started to question why this kind of left-wing politics was creeping in to the opening ceremony."

He adds that with the "constraint" of a 2,0000-year history to document, "it seems a bit strange that he [Danny Boyle] would have such a big focus on rap seemed like there were some trite attempts to focus on some modern parts of our multiculturalism."

He also said: "I think it is sad that towards the end we had Shami Chakrabarti from the left-wing campaigning organisation Liberty carrying the flag."

London Mayor dismisses 'leftie ceremony' complaints as 'nonsense'

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson dismisses 'leftie' complaints Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Boris Johnson today dismissed suggestions the Olympic opening ceremony had been too left-wing.

London's Mayor described the event in the Olympic Stadium, watched by a global audience of around one billion, as a triumph for Great Britain.

He said:

"It was actually the truth about this country in the last two or three hundred years told in a big, dynamic way.

"People say it was all leftie stuff. That is nonsense. I'm a Conservative and I had hot tears of patriotic pride from the beginning. I was blubbing like Andy Murray."

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