RMT says MP is unfit for public office and calls on Cameron to boot him out
The RMT has called for disgraced Tory Aidan Burley to be expelled from the Conservative Party.
General secretary Bob Crow said: “As far as we’re concerned it’s time to call a taxi for wannabe union buster Aidan Burley whose dodgy mates tell us all we need to know about the modern Tory party.
“Treating the Nazis as some kind of sick joke isn’t just an error of judgement – it renders him unfit for public office and David Cameron should have the guts to boot him out the party.”
Burley has already lost his job as a Parliamentary aide and faces six months in prison after French magistrates launched an investigation into him ‘inciting racial hatred and glorifying crimes against humanity’ during a stag night in which guests wore an SS uniform and toasted high-ranking members of Hitler’s Nazi Party.
The chair of the Trade Union Reform Campaign, which is leading the attack on trade union facility time, has been absent from Parliament since the story broke, taking refuge in his constituency.
Yesterday the controversy hit home, with a fellow Midlands MP calling for the Prime Minister to remove the whip from him, and the leader of his local council demanding he resign as an MP.
Ian Austin, shadow work and pensions minister and Labour MP for Dudley North, said: “David Cameron and the Tories tried to brush this under the carpet, but the scandal surrounding Aidan Burley’s disgraceful conduct is not going away. Surely the prime minister must take the whip off Mr Burley while this investigation is taking place.”
George Adamson, the leader of Cannock Chase Council, went one step further, saying: “I think it’s pretty disgusting. Burley has brought disgrace to Cannock Chase and I think he should resign as the MP. He said he didn’t know anything about the Nazi uniform in advance, and now it looks obvious he knew about it in advance. Resigning is the only honourable thing he can do now.”
The beleaguered MP received support from a familiar quarter, though, with the Tory chairman of the council dismissing his MP’s behaviour as “silly”.
John Beddows said: “We all do silly things from time-to-time and I don’t think he should lose his job. I do genuinely think he is a good MP, but he is young and immature. However bigger crimes and scandals and been committed by MPs before in the last 15 years.”
In an attempt to save his political career, Burley has written a grovelling apology to his constituents. In a statement on his website, he writes:
I want to take this opportunity to express my deepest regret at the shame I have brought upon Cannock Chase in the local, national and international media over the last ten days.
There are no excuses for my foolish behaviour which, over the past two weeks, has caused so much distress to so many people.
Let me begin by saying very clearly; I know that I made a mistake, and Cannock Chase – I am sorry. To my supporters in the Conservative Party, to those who voted for me in May 2010, and to all those who didn’t, but are represented by me in Parliament – I made a bad error of judgement and you deserved better from your local MP.
Being involved in a stag party where an SS uniform was worn was wrong and offensive. It was the wrong decision on my part; crass and insensitive. I am deeply sorry, and want to take this opportunity to offer the people of Cannock Chase an unreserved, wholehearted and full apology for the terrible offence this incident has undoubtedly caused.
It has been an unbelievably difficult ten days for my family and friends, and I feel ashamed that Cannock Chase has been placed in the limelight as a result of my behaviour. My family have been through hell, and I want to thank them in particular for the love, courage and support they have given me.
The Trade Union Reform Campaign has yet to comment on its chairman’s conduct. You can read a UnionNews investigation into the unelected and unaccountable TURC here.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.