UK Politics

Nazi stag-do Tory MP Aidan Burley to step down

Conservative MP Aidan Burley
Image caption Mr Burley is the MP for the Staffordshire constituency of Cannock Chase

Conservative MP Aidan Burley, who was at the centre of a row over a Nazi-themed stag party, is to step down from Parliament next year.

Mr Burley was sacked as a ministerial aide in 2011 after he bought a Nazi uniform for the groom to wear during a trip to a French ski resort.

The MP apologised, but the Tories said his actions had been "unacceptable" and he had caused "deep offence".

Mr Burley will not contest the marginal Cannock Chase seat he won in 2010.

In a statement, Mr Burley said he was "proud" of his record as an MP but had faced a "difficult time" in recent years and would not be standing again for Parliament.

'Stupid'

An internal report by the Conservative Party criticised Mr Burley's actions during the stag party, which he helped to organise as best man.

The report said there had been a Nazi-themed toast during the event.

Some of those present also reportedly chanted the names of prominent Nazi figures.

While the inquiry accepted that Mr Burley had found the toast "deeply offensive", and had not been present during any Nazi-themed chanting, it said he had not made his objections "explicitly clear".

The report said the MP was not a racist or anti-Semite, but his actions had been "stupid" and it had been right to remove him from his junior government position.

Conservative chairman Grant Shapps said Mr Burley - who will continue as an MP until May 2015 - had served his constituents "with dedication and commitment", and he wished him luck in the future.

Labour said Mr Burley had done the right thing, claiming his actions had made his position "untenable".

"It shows huge weakness that David Cameron wasn't prepared to take action against his disgraced MP," shadow minister Jon Ashworth said.

Mr Burley was elected with a 3,195 majority. The seat is one of Labour's main targets at the general election next year, having held it between 1992 and 2010.

His decision to stand down comes just days after two other Conservative MPs - Anne McIntosh and Tim Yeo - were deselected by their constituency parties.

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