Aidan Burley absent from Conservative Friends of Israel lunch

By Jennifer Lipman, December 12, 2011
Aidan Burley with David Cameron

Aidan Burley with David Cameron

An MP whose involvement in a recent "Nazi-themed" stag party was revealed in the weekend papers was absent from a Conservative Friends of Israel lunch event today.

Aidan Burley, MP for Cannock Chase and an aide to the Transport Secretary, has apologised for attending the party where one guest wore an SS uniform and others chanted the names of Hitler and the architects of the Final Solution, raised glasses to the Third Reich and even made Nazi salutes.

He has since admitted his behaviour, at a restaurant in the French ski resort of Val Thorens, was "clearly inappropriate" and expressed regret but according to the Daily Mail could face prosecution for the criminal activity of wearing or exhibiting Nazi memorabilia.

Mr Burley, a first-term MP, was on the guestlist for the CFI event but was not seen by other guests. The MP, who visited Israel as part of a CFI delegation last May, had written in the brochure about his experiences and his "sincere hope [that] our generation of politicians can help to finally bring peace to this region".

The chairman of Labour Friends of Israel, John Woodcock, called for Prime Minister David Cameron to sack Mr Burley for his participation in the stag event.

Aidan Burley in the Conservative Friends of Israel brochure

Aidan Burley in the Conservative Friends of Israel brochure

Stuart Polak, the director of CFI, said: "I have worked closely and travelled to Israel with Aidan Burley. I know him well and he does not have an antisemitic bone in his body.

"The actions of his friends in France were unacceptable and inexcusable. Aidan should not have been associated with this. However, Aidan is both a friend of Israel and a friend of the Jewish community."

Last updated: 8:29pm, December 12 2011