"Nazi" stag party MP could face French criminal charges

Aidan Burley, MP for Cannock Chase, reportedly hired the SS uniform worn by a friend

Aidan Burley, MP for Cannock Chase, reportedly hired the SS uniform worn by a friend

French authorities have opened an enquiry into the Nazi-themed stag party attended by Conservative MP Aidan Burley.

The 32-year old could face a jail term or fine after magistrates in the ski resort of Albertville received a complaint about conduct at the party.

It is a criminal offence in France to wear or exhibit Nazi uniforms and insignia. The crime of “inciting racial hatred and glorifying crimes against humanity” can be punished with six months’ imprisonment.

Mr Burley, MP for Cannock Chase, reportedly hired the SS uniform worn by his friend Mark Fournier at the restaurant in nearby Val Thorens on December 3. Guests at the event toasted the Third Reich and chanted the names of senior Nazis.

Prosecutors in Albertville confirmed a preliminary investigation had begun following a complaint from lawyers acting on behalf of the restaurant and from a French anti-racism group.

Last weekend Prime Minister David Cameron sacked Mr Burley from his job as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Transport Secretary Justine Greening and asked for a fuller investigation of the matter. That is unlikely to conclude until January.

Mr Burley had earlier made a direct apology to the readers of the JC, writing: "On reflection, I wish I had left as soon as I had realised what was happening... I had a choice, and I made the wrong choice NOT to leave. I apologise for this error of judgment."

Labour MP Ian Austin has called on Mr Cameron to remove the party whip from Mr Burley.

George Adamson, the Labour leader of Cannock Chase Council, told Sky News that Mr Burley's actions had "brought nothing but shame to the constituency" and said he should resign as an MP.

Last updated: 10:06am, December 23 2011