I am writing following the press reports over the weekend regarding the stag do I attended a week ago in the French ski resort of Val Thorens.
I would like to make an unreserved, wholehearted and fulsome apology to all your readers for the terrible offence this incident has undoubtedly caused. There was clearly inappropriate behaviour by several of the other guests and I deeply regret that this happened. I am extremely sorry for the offence that has been caused both to the Jewish community and others, and the terrible repercussions at home from these actions abroad.
On reflection, I wish I had left as soon as I had realised what was happening. What was happening was wrong and I should have completely dissociated myself from it. I had a choice, and I made the wrong choice NOT to leave. I apologise for this error of judgment.
Whilst being so far away from home made leaving early more difficult, that is what I should have done. I want to make it clear that I have the upmost respect for the Jewish faith and we should never forget the events of the Holocaust.
This was something that was brought home to me very graphically when I visited Yad Vashem last summer, with the Conservative Friends of Israel. I would not wish in any way to show disrespect to the memories of the victims of the Holocaust and that is why I value the words of Stuart Polak, director of Conservative Friends of Israel, below.
"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."
Once again I apologise for any hurt caused.
Aidan Burley MP
MP for Cannock Chase
Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Justine Greening MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA