'Foolish' Tory MP fired from govt job over Nazi photo

Aidan Burley was elected as the Tory MP for Cannock Chase in 2010
Aidan Burley was elected as the Tory MP for Cannock Chase in 2010

By politics.co.uk staff

Junior ministerial aide Aidan Burley's involvement in a Nazi-themed stag party has cost him his job.

The Conservative MP for Cannock Chase was pictured at a party in the French ski resort of Val Thorens where the groom-to-be was dressed in a uniform similar to that worn by SS officers.

He attempted to make amends by apologising for his behaviour in a letter to the Jewish Chronicle, but the move has not proved sufficient to save him his job.


"Aidan Burley has behaved in a manner which is offensive and foolish," a statement from the Conservative party read.

"That is why he is being removed from his post as parliamentary private secretary at the Department for Transport.

"In light of information received, the prime minister has asked for a fuller investigation into the matter to be set up and to report to him."

Mr Burley could have hoped for a promotion at the coalition's first reshuffle as a PPS, but that now seems impossible.

"What was happening was wrong and I should have completely dissociated myself from it," he wrote in his letter of apology.

"I had a choice, and I made the wrong choice not to leave. I apologise for this error of judgment."

The Mail on Sunday newspaper, which published the original photograph, claimed another member of the stag party toasted the Nazi party regime's ideology.

Opposition MP and Labour Friends of Israel chair John Woodcock demanded that Mr Burley confirm whether he had hired the SS uniform worn by his friend.

"Evidence that he was actually at the centre of events would be at odds with his apology claiming he failed to walk away from the party when he realised what was happening, and would leave him with extremely serious questions to answer," he commented.

Mr Woodcock also criticised the prime minister for failing to act against Mr Burley sooner.

He added: "People will rightly conclude he was more concerned with avoiding another round of bad stories than the gross offence caused by this repugnant behaviour."

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