MP Aidan Burley is to stand down next year following widespread criticism over his participation in a Nazi-themed stag party.
The Tory MP for Cannock Chase announced his decision last night saying it came after a ‘difficult time’.
Tory party chairman Grant Shapps wished Mr Burley well while political opponents today welcomed his decision and said he brought it on himself.
He was revealed to have bought an SS uniform for groom Mark Fournier for the party in France in 2011.
Wearing a Nazi uniform is illegal in France and Mr Fournier was last month fined £1,200 by a French court and made to pay £800 in compensation to a group that helps families of Holocaust victims.
Mr Burley, aged 35, was branded ‘stupid and offensive’ by an internal Tory party inquiry which was carried out after the party but suppressed until the conclusion of the French prosecution.
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In a statement Mr Burley said: “After a difficult time I have decided to announce I will stand down at the next general election. I will continue to work for the people of Cannock Chase until that election, and look forward to supporting my successor, as soon as he or she is selected, to ensure that Labour have no chance of re-taking this seat.”
Political blogger Guido Fawkes has revealed that Mr Burley had told him the pressure on the MP’s fiancée, Cannock Chase councillor Jodie Jones, had become ‘intolerable’.
Miss Jones, aged 25, resigned as chairman of the Cannock Chase Association prior to a meeting to discuss Mr Burley’s responses to a party inquiry into his behaviour after differing versions of events were reported by a national newspaper.
Mr Burley was initially caught at the party by a national newspaper which published pictures of the groom in the uniform and the MP nearby. He has faced further questions after the newspaper re-published the pictures and said they contradicted his claim to the Tory inquiry that he had left the party before guests began chanting ‘Hitler’ and ‘Himmler’
Mr Burley’s Labour opponent in Cannock Chase, Janos Toth, said: “He has brought shame to the Cannock Chase constituency and that was continuing, it wouldn’t go away.
“He has done what he had to do because his behaviour wasn’t acceptable.”
Tory chairman Grant Shapps said: “Aidan has a strong record in his constituency from securing the future of Cannock Chase Hospital, to setting up local job fairs and getting hundreds of people back to work.
“He has served his constituents with dedication and commitment. I wish him the best of luck with whatever he does next.”