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Member of UK Parliament deemed ‘stupid’ for Nazi uniform party

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 9:48 EDT
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The Houses of Parliament in Westminster (AFP)
 
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An MP had been “stupid and offensive” in organising a Nazi-themed stag party in France, but is not a racist, a Conservative Party internal inquiry found.

Aidan Burley was sacked as parliamentary private secretary to the Transport Secretary after newspapers published pictures of the boozy bash at a posh French ski resort.

The Conservative Party disciplinary investigation concluded two years ago but the verdict was only released after legal proceedings in France concluded Tuesday.

The groom, Mark Fournier, was prosecuted for wearing a Nazi uniform and insignia, which is outlawed in France.

A police tribunal in the French Alps town of Albertville upheld the prosecutor’s demand for a maximum fine of 1,500 euros ($2,065).

It also ordered Fournier to pay 1,000 euros in damages to the Association of Internal Deportees and Families, a civil complainant.

The report by Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative party confirmed that “as best man, Mr Burley purchased the costume alongside the flights and other costs associated with the trip.

“Mr Burley argued strongly that the choice of costume was inspired by the British comic association with aspects of the war,” it said.

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

The controversial party took place on December 3, 2011, in a restaurant in upmarket Val Thorens.

Fournier was photographed in full SS regalia whilst giving the Nazi salute.

The disciplinary investigation by Conservative peer Lord David Gold found there was “no political motivation whatsoever”, but said Burley’s “unacceptable and offensive actions” threw his judgement into question and he was right to lose his post.

“Mr Burley is not a bad man, still less a racist or anti-Semite,” the report found.

“However, his actions were stupid and offensive.”

Burley, who has visited Auschwitz on Gold’s recommendation, will face no further disciplinary action.

The investigation also accepted that no formal complaints about the party were made during the dinner itself and that Fournier only made a Nazi-style salute “at the prompting” of a journalist who was there and broke the story.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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