Tory MP Aidan Burley could be charged over Nazi stag party

Aidan Burley

French prosecutors investigate party at which groom-to-be wore an SS uniform

LAST UPDATED AT 08:44 ON Thu 16 Feb 2012

FRENCH prosecutors have opened a formal investigation into a Nazi-themed stag party attended by British Conservative MP Aidan Burley in the Alpine ski resort of Val Thorens.

AFP reports that those who attended the party could face charges of defending war crimes or crimes against humanity, promoting racial hatred, and, in the case of the stag, wearing a Nazi uniform in public, which is illegal in France. If charged and found guilty they face up to six months in jail and large fines.

Burley, the 33-year-old MP for Cannock Chase, attended the stag party in December. Unfortunately for him, a Mail on Sunday reporter was also at La Fondue restaurant, where the stag was filmed wearing the black uniform of the Nazi SS.

In the course of the evening, some members of the party - but not all - gave Nazi salutes, chanted "Mein Fuhrer!" and "Himmler!" and made a toast to the "ideology and thought process of the Third Reich". Burley was photographed alongside the offensively attired stag, but he denies taking part in the toast.

Following reports of the party, Burley acknowledged there had been "inappropriate behaviour by some of the other guests" and apologised, but he was still sacked from his job as parliamentary private secretary to Transport Secretary Justine Greening.

The Daily Mail reports that the French investigation follows a complaint made by an anti-racism group and the manager of La Fondue.

Back in London, Burley, who is still an MP, faces calls for the Conservative whip to be removed from him. Labour MP Ian Austin said: "Surely David Cameron has got to stop dithering and take the whip off Aidan Burley whilst the French investigation and Conservative Party investigation take place.

"The French authorities are clearly taking the disgraceful events at the stag party in which Mr Burley was involved very seriously and it is about time that David Cameron and the Conservative Party did the same." · 

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