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France probes Nazi-themed party attended by British MP

AFP · 22 Dec 2011, 13:33

Published: 22 Dec 2011 13:33 GMT+01:00

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French prosecutors said on Thursday they had opened an investigation into a Nazi-themed party attended by British MP Aidan Burley that led to him losing his post as a parliamentary aide.

"A preliminary investigation started yesterday," local prosecutor Patrick Quincy told AFP, as authorities opened a case file on a drunken night out by a group of British men in the French Alpine ski resort of Val Thorens.


The investigation was launched following a complaint from French anti-racism group SOS Racisme. Quincy said he had been unaware of the incident before the complaint. 

"I was not at all informed of this incident, which did not cause a fuss in Val Thorens," he said.

Burley, 32, was sacked from his role as a parliamentary private secretary to Transport Secretary Justine Greening, after pictures taken at the party earlier this month were published in the British press.

Burley, a lawmaker in Cameron's centre-right Conservatives, represents Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, central England.

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

Burley was photographed sitting next to the stag, who was wearing the uniform of a World War II-era Germany SS officer -- an apparent offence in France, where Nazi regalia is banned.

The Conservative Party said in a statement that Burley was removed from his post because of his "offensive and foolish" behaviour at the party.

Prime Minister David Cameron also asked for a full investigation.

Burley issued an "unreserved, wholehearted and fulsome apology" over the party, in a letter to the Jewish Chronicle newspaper.

"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 judgment," he wrote.

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Your comments about this article

2011-12-25 14:10:50 by Eric
Any thing associated with the NAZI party has not been allowed. This is a good thing. Why hasn't the same been done for the Communist party? Communism and Communist leaders (Stalin, Mao, and many others) have murdered more people than all the wars since the beginning of mankind. Yet it's not given the same treatment as the Nazi party. Some evil is tolerated others not?
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