11 December 2011

Aidan Burley fails to apologise properly, blames "other" guests at "Nazi" party

The BBC and many newspapers are  reporting an "apology" by ex-Hammersmith Tory councillor Aidan Burley MP, who, as we reported earlier, has been exposed by the Mail on Sunday as taking part in  a Nazi-themed stag party.

Under the heading "MP Aiden Burley sorry for 'Nazi' stag party guest photos", the BBC quotes Mr Burley in a statement "released through the Conservative Central Office" as saying, "There was clearly inappropriate behaviour by some of the other guests [sic] and I deeply regret that this happened. I am extremely sorry for any offence that will undoubtedly have been caused."

Sky News and others are also reporting a later tweet by Mr Burley"Deeply regret inappropriate behaviour by some guests [sic] at stag party I attended and I am extremely sorry for any offence that was caused."

What on earth does Mr Burley mean by "some of the other guests" or "some guests"?

Is he trying to imply that his own behaviour was appropriate? That it was appropriate for him to spend an evening carousing with one friend dressed as an SS officer and another who toasted "the ideology and thought process of the Third Reich"? That it was appropriate for him to stay silent in the face of chants of, according to the Mail, "Mein Fuhrer! Mein Fuhrer! Mein Fuhrer!", "Himmler! Himmler! Himmler!" and "Eichmann! Eichmann! Eichmann!"? As the Mail says, "Mr Burley, who was standing a few feet away, was not seen to object to [being called the member for Berlin East] or any other behaviour that evening."

Aidan Burley's silent complicity in his friends' shameful antics was wholly inappropriate and he has so far failed to apologise for it. He must do so without delay.

And what it does say about the values of Conservative Central Office that they saw nothing wrong with issuing this piece of sophistry on Mr Burley's behalf?

UPDATE: Burley has been sacked as an aide to Transport Secretary and is being investigated further by the Tory party. Let's hope this is a real investigation and not an attempt to push the scandal into the long grass.

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