Tories reject fresh claims over MP Aidan Burley's 'Nazi stag party' role
A Conservative MP who bought a Nazi fancy-dress outfit for a stag-do will not face any further investigation by his party despite fresh media claims that he misled an inquiry.
The results of an internal Tory probe published last week found that Aidan Burley had caused “deep offence” but had not acted in a “racist or antisemitic way” when arranging an SS costume for a friend’s celebrations.
But the Mail on Sunday this week alleged that the Cannock Chase MP had told “blatant untruths” to party officials.
It accused the 35-year-old of four “flaws” in his evidence.
They included his defence that he had not been at a pub with friends in the French ski resort of Val Thorens, and that he had left immediately after an offensive toast “to the ideology and thought process of the Third Reich” was performed.
The Mail also rubbished suggestions — made by Mr Burley in his defence — that one of its reporters had “prompted” a Nazi salute given by revellers at the stag-do.
But the Conservative Party said it would not reopen the investigation, which was led by former Southend and Westcliff Hebrew Congregation president Lord Gold.
The party said a two-year police investigation in France had ruled against prosecuting Mr Burley, and that fact, together with the findings of the Gold report, meant “nothing in the Mail on Sunday’s allegations” required further consideration.
“Lord Gold’s investigation found that Aidan Burley behaved in a manner which was offensive and foolish, and that his behaviour was completely unacceptable. What he did was wrong and Aidan Burley has accepted this,” a Conservative spokesman said.
Last week Mark Fournier, the friend for whom Mr Burley bought the
SS costume, was handed a maximum fine of 1,500 euros by a French court. The display of Nazi regalia is illegal in France.
Mr Fournier’s conviction sparked the release of the Tory Party report.
Suggestions emerged in Mr Burley’s Staffordshire constituency that the local Tory association — chaired by the MP’s fiancée Jodie Jones — would hold talks this week following the “concern” raised by the case.
Neither Mr Burley nor Ms Jones — who is also a local councillor — have responded to the JC’s questions about the stag-do and its aftermath.
John Woodcock MP, a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, said: “Behaviour of this sort provides cover for those, in Europe and beyond, who seek to minimise or deny the scale and barbarity of the Holocaust.
“I hope that Mr Burley has had the opportunity to reflect at length on the appropriateness of his decisions at the time and the distress it will have caused to the Jewish community and many others.”