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I am an experienced online journalist and political editor working for Trinity Mirror papers in the West Midlands and the North East, based in the Parliamentary Press Gallery at Westminster.

I understand how government, Parliament and political parties work. I am equally at home digging out stories from data, social media or interviews as I am covering major set-piece events or explaining how things work to readers.

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Contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (but please send press releases to my work email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as this is the email I monitor during working hours).

The Conservative MP who took part in a Nazi-themed stag party has been reselected to represent the party at the next election – even though police are still investigating the incident.

Cannock Chase Conservatives have announced that Aidan Burley will fight the seat again at the general election due in 2015.

But the national party is still sitting on the results of an inquiry into his behaviour at a stag party at the French ski resort of Val Thorens, more than a year after the incident occurred.
 
Aidan Burley MP, right, with David Cameron
 

Although a report has been submitted to David Cameron, the party says it cannot make the results public while a French police inquiry is under way.

Mr Burley was sacked by the Prime Minister from his job as an aide to Justine Greening, then the Transport Secretary, after it emerged that he took part in a stag party in December 2011 where the groom dressed as an SS officer.

Mr Cameron ordered an inquiry, but French police then announced their own investigation in February 2012. It is an offence under French law to wear the uniform of an organisation that carried out crimes against humanity, such as a Nazi costume.

Conservative officials say they are still waiting for the results of the French inquiry or confirmation that it has been dropped, and until then they cannot publish their own report.

The MP was also in the spotlight last year when he condemned the London Olympics opening ceremony as “multicultural crap”.

"Yes it has been frustrating that there has been a distraction due to a silly stag-do prank that went wrong well over a year ago, but no malice was intended.”Aidan Burley MP

Writing on internet messaging service Twitter as the ceremony took place in July, he said: “Thank God the athletes have arrived! Now we can move on from leftie multicultural crap. Bring back red arrows, Shakespeare and the Stones!”

He later said: “Seems my tweet has been misunderstood. I was talking about the way it was handled in the show, not multiculturalism itself.”

None of this has prevented Cannock Chase Conservatives carrying out their re-selection procedures, and a meeting of the Association’s governing body unanimously endorsed Mr Burley last week.

Asked by the Birmingham Post if it was sensible to re-select him while the issue of the stag party was unresolved, the MP said: “I disagree with your suggestion. For all we know it could be dropped.

“We can’t sit around at Cannock just waiting it out. It may never come to anything. It is an incident that happened a year and a half ago.”

Pointing out that there had been no announcement from the French authorities since the inquiry was launched, he said: “The fact that there hasn’t been a statement perhaps shows the importance they attach to it.

“I have got on with being an MP. I have always wanted to work hard as a constituency MP and I think most people will agree I have worked hard.

“Yes it has been frustrating that there has been a distraction due to a silly stag-do prank that went wrong well over a year ago, but no malice was intended.”

In a statement issued by Cannock Chase Conservative Association, chairman Phil Jones highlighted the MP’s work on local issues, including his campaign to ensure Cannock Chase’s forest remains in public ownership and his role securing funding for electrification of the Chase rail line, running between Walsall and Rugeley Trent Valley, as well as his support for employers.

He said: “I am delighted that Aidan will once again be our candidate at the next election. There was an overwhelming feeling that since 2010 he has set a new standard as a constituency MP.

“In particular there have been the jobs fairs and business awards, and his regular volunteering with local organisations, as well as taking up and winning many battles, such as preservation of the forest and improvements to the Chase Line.”

Mr Burley said in the statement: “I should like to thank the members for their massive vote of confidence.”

He added: “Much has been achieved in the last three years, but there are always more challenges to face... I hope that I will able to continue facing them for the people of Cannock Chase through to 2020 and beyond.”

 

Read more http://www.birminghampost.net/news/west-midlands-news/2013/02/14/tories-re-select-aidan-burley-mp-in-middle-of-nazi-theme-party-inquiry-65233-32805777/


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Jonathan Walker Political Editor of the Birmingham Post, Birmingham Mail, Sunday Mercury, Coventry Telegraph, Newcastle Journal, Newcastle Chronicle and Sunday Sun.

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Email jonathan@walkerjon.com (but please send press releases to my work email which is
jon.walker@trinitymirror.com, as this is the email I monitor during working hours).

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