Nazi party Tory is sorry you were offended

Alex Hern covers the fallout from Tory MP Aidan Burley’s attendance of a Nazi-themed stag party.


The latest offender in a string of badly behaved Conservatives has apologised for the fact that people were offended by his behaviour at a Nazi-themed stag party.

Aidan Burley, MP for Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, was in hot water after photos of his friend Mark Fourier’s Nazi-themed stag party were uncovered by the Mail on Sunday.

Reporting on the night, the paper wrote:

The MP, who was elected in 2010, sipped wine as one of the party goaded a French waiter, asking: ‘You are from Germany? No, you must be from Austria, then?’ and ‘Are you insulting his Reich?’


The man wearing the SS uniform was accountant Mark Fournier, 34,  a graduate of The Queen’s College, Oxford University, whose stag party it was. Wearing such a uniform in public is a criminal offence under French law.

His brother, businessman John Fournier, 37, gave the toast. Later, in the pub, he said of Mr Burley: ‘This man is a Tory MP. He went to Oxford as well. A Tory boy. He was the candidate for Berlin East.’

Mr Burley, who was standing a few feet away, was not seen to object to this or any other behaviour that evening.

The MP has since apologised – twice – albeit choosing his words carefully.

His first apology came in the original article:

“There was clearly inappropriate behaviour by some of the other guests and I deeply regret that this happened.

“I am extremely sorry for any offence that will undoubtedly have been caused”

He made a similar statement on Twitter the day after. It may simply be that he doesn’t know that “I’m sorry” and “I’m sorry other people were bad and that you were offended” are different, but as apologies go, it leaves much to be desired..

Burley won his seat in the largest single swing from Labour to the Tories in any seat in the 2010 election. Standing in what was thought to be an unwinnable seat may have meant he avoided the sort of vetting – both of history and personality – which is common amongst prospective parliament candidates.

It is probably for this reason that his previous brush with the press didn’t raise alarm bells.

While at Oxford, Burley moved the annual dinner of his elitist drinking club, the (now defunct) King Charles Club, to Stringfellows, after they were banned from having it on college property.

Not only that, but he then paid to advertise that fact in the Times and Telegraph:

“The King Charles Club of the St John’s College, Oxford, held their annual dinner last night at Stringfellows … after attending divine service at the Banqueting Hall, Whitehall, and laying a wreath at the statue of the Martyr King in Trafalgar Square.”

It looks like the rot of Conservative Future, the youth wing of the Tory party, is spreading upwards quicker than ever.

As we reported in November, various CF organisations have got in trouble for:

Mocking the northern diet of “chips and gravy”; torching likenesses of Mandela and Obama; toasting apartheid; singing songs about “killing lots of kike”; disrupting student union meetings with Nazi-style salutes and cries of ‘Viva Pinochet’; complaining that gypsies “aren’t human”; arguing that you can be racist against jews but not black people; and describing themselves as “a better dressed version of the BNP.”

Our conclusion at the time was :

It may well be that what has changed isn’t that Conservative Future has got more racist and offensive over the years, but merely that whereas they used to do all of this in private, it now often spills out into public.

With the days of the sixth-youngest Tory MP now looking increasingly numbered, the past may be catching up with the Conservative Future.

See also:

What will Cameron do to end the racism of the young Conservatives?Alex Hern, November 23rd 2011

Worst Student Tories Ever Faceoff: Oxford Tories 2011 v Bullingdon 1988 – You decideAlex Hern, November 7th 2011

Griffin’s friends the KKK come to BritainAlex Hern, October 19th 2011

Helmer’s exit takes us out of the frying pan and into the fireAlex Hern, October 13th 2011

The dehumanising rhetoric undermining the student movementDavid Barclay, April 17th 2011

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22 Responses to “Nazi party Tory is sorry you were offended”

  1. Tania Ziegler

    Nazi party Tory @AidanBurleyMP is sorry you were offended, writes @AlexHern:

  2. John H

    This post makes me wonder if Conservative Future may suffer same fate as Federation of Conservative Students in 1980s:

  3. Alex Braithwaite

    RT @leftfootfwd: Nazi party Tory is sorry you were offended

  4. Hedley Lamarr

    Nazi party Tory @AidanBurleyMP is sorry you were offended, writes @AlexHern:

  5. Twinkle

    Nazi party Tory @AidanBurleyMP is sorry you were offended, writes @AlexHern:

  6. Selohesra

    You beat me to it:) – double standards by the Left? – surely not!

  7. Mrs Darling

    Labour's @IanAustinMP mentions scumbag Nazi party Tory @AidanBurleyMP – but cut short by the Speaker; more here:

  8. Chris Fitzpatrick

    Gosh the Torys and Conservative Future are delightful! RT @leftfootfwd: Nazi party Tory is sorry you were offended

  9. David Marsden

    Labour's @IanAustinMP mentions scumbag Nazi party Tory @AidanBurleyMP – but cut short by the Speaker; more here:

  10. Ed's Talking Balls

    Cheap attempts at political point scoring, shown immediately to be outrageously hypocritical? Ah, that’d be Labour stooges jumping in feet first again.

    I believe there’s a biblical passage about motes and beams.

  11. Tower Hamlets HOOPS

    Labour's @IanAustinMP mentions scumbag Nazi party Tory @AidanBurleyMP – but cut short by the Speaker; more here:

  12. Mr. Sensible


  13. Newsbot9

    No, that’s wrong as well.

    Typical “But you did it too” defence of the Nazis there.

  14. Selohesra

    Are you stalking me? every comment I make generates a response – it makes me feel very important 🙂

  15. The “New Right”: Gaddafi lovers, Holocaust deniers and ‘up market’ fascists | Left Foot Forward

    […] also: • Nazi party Tory is sorry you were offended – Alex Hern, December 12th […]

  16. guest

    “defence of the Nazis there” – Where?

    If I was defending anyone, it would have been Aidan Burley. Perhaps I wasn’t, perhaps I was just attacking the one-sidedness of this article…

  17. Look Left – Labour hold Feltham but deeper problems remain | Left Foot Forward

    […] Alex Hern reported on Left Foot Forward, Burley hasn’t even apologised for his role in the incident, his ‘sit back […]

  18. Gregg

    Is it, though? Balls was a member of the Oxford Conservative Association at the time that he dressed as a Nazi. His world view subsequently changed and he became a (tiresomely moderate) centre-lefty. Surely when he changed his political position, he divorced himself from the things he did whilst he was a Conservative?

  19. Len Arthur

    #BotW: @PSBook on how the Nazi party Tory is under investigation by police: – c also @AlexHern:

  20. tom sheils

    #BotW: @PSBook on how the Nazi party Tory is under investigation by police: – c also @AlexHern:

  21. “Sorry if you were offended” does not cut it, Diane | Left Foot Forward

    […] Hern wrote: The MP has apologised – twice – albeit choosing his words […]

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