Mon, Dec 19, 2011 - Page 5 News List

British lawmaker under fire for Nazi-themed stag party

AFP, LONDON

A British lawmaker who attended a stag party where guests were dressed up as Nazis and toasted the Third Reich has lost his post as an aide and been placed under investigation by British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Aidan Burley, 32, has been sacked from his role as a parliamentary private secretary (PPS) to British Transport Secretary Justine Greening, the Conservative Party said yesterday.

A PPS is chosen by the minister and acts as their point of contact with backbenchers.

It is the first step towards the ministerial ladder and they are expected to vote with the government.

Burley, a lawmaker in Cameron’s center-right Conservatives, represents Cannock Chase in west central England.

He has expressed his “deep regret” at the “inappropriate” actions of others at the party in the French Alpine ski resort of Val Thorens.

EMBARRASSING

British stag parties, which are held before a man gets married, are typically jovial and boozy nights out, often with the groom-to-be in embarrassing fancy dress.

Burley was photographed sitting next to the stag, who was wearing an SS uniform.

The Mail on Sunday newspaper, which published a picture of the man giving a Nazi salute, said Burley refused to discuss allegations that he had hired the uniform.

“Aidan Burley has behaved in a manner which is offensive and foolish,” a Conservative Party spokesman said in a statement.

“That is why he is being removed from his post as PPS at the Department for Transport,” the spokesman said.

“In light of information received, the prime minister has asked for a fuller investigation into the matter to be set up and to report to him,” the spokesman said.

APOLOGY

Burley issued an “unreserved, wholehearted and fulsome apology” over the party in a letter to the Jewish Chronicle newspaper earlier this week.

“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 apologize for this error of judgement,” he wrote.

The Mail on Sunday said in its editorial: “Aidan Burley MP is an idiot.”

The editorial commented that the “pin-striped” old guard of Conservative MPs “may not have known an iPod from an earplug, but they could be trusted never to attend a Nazi-themed stag party.”

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