Conservative Party delays release of report into Burley 'Nazi stag party'

By Jennifer Lipman, February 28, 2012
Aidan Burley with David Cameron

Aidan Burley with David Cameron

The findings of the Conservative Party's report into the conduct of MP Aidan Burley will not be made public this week, despite an earlier pledge that the report would be released by the end of February.

A Conservative Party spokesman said that the release was being postponed because of the ongoing investigation by the French police into what took place on an alleged "Nazi-themed" stag party last December.

He said that senior party officials had completed the investigation, but added: "It would be inappropriate to release the report's findings while French police are conducting their own investigation.

"Publication has therefore been postponed until the inquiries in France are over."

Mr Burley, the MP for Cannock Chase, was filmed at an event in the Val Thorens ski resort where one guest donned an SS uniform and others allegedly toasted the Third Reich and chanted the names of senior Nazis.

Prime Minister David Cameron initially stopped short of sacking the 32-year-old, who was a Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Transport Secretary Justine Greening.

But a week after the revelations about Mr Burley's attendance at the event, he was removed from the post for his "offensive" behaviour, although he retained the whip.

At the time Mr Cameron asked for "a fuller investigation into the matter to be set up and to report to him" and two weeks ago the JC was told by a party spokesman that the report would be made public by the end of February.

Earlier this month French prosecutors announced that a formal police investigation had been opened into the affair, which would look at charges including wearing the uniform of an organisation that perpetrated crimes against humanity and making racist slurs.

Labour MP Ian Austin, whose adoptive father escaped to Britain from Czechoslovakia on the eve of the Holocaust, said it was "about time David Cameron and the Conservative Party established the truth" about what happened.

"In the meantime, they should suspend him from the party," he said.

"A group of grown men setting out to cause trouble by chanting 'Hitler' and toasting the Third Reich isn't a student joke and it isn't a fancy dress party either."

Last updated: 11:19am, February 29 2012