Aidan Burley

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Aidan Burley
Aidan Burley campaign photograph 2010.jpg
Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Transport
In office
17 November 2010 – 17 December 2011
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Brian Donohoe
Succeeded by Andrew Jones
Member of Parliament
for Cannock Chase
In office
6 May 2010 – 30 March 2015
Preceded by Tony Wright
Succeeded by Amanda Milling
Majority 3,195 (7.0%)
Personal details
Born (1979-01-22) 22 January 1979 (age 38)[1]
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Alma mater St John's College, Oxford

Aidan Burley[2] (born 22 January 1979) is a British politician. He was Member of Parliament for Cannock Chase, elected in 2010 on a large vote swing away from the Labour Party candidate. Burley stepped down in 2015.

Early life[edit]

Burley was born in Auckland, New Zealand and migrated with his parents to the United Kingdom a few months later.[3]

He was educated at West House School, Birmingham, King Edward's School, Birmingham, standing as a Conservative in 1997 in the school's mock election.[4] He then studied theology at St John's College, Oxford where he was the President of the famous dining society, The King Charles Club.[3][5] An officer of Oxford University Conservative Association, due to an incident he was asked to leave St John's College accommodation for the rest of his studies, lodging in private accommodation.[5]


Burley worked as a management consultant for Accenture and later Hedra/Mouchel, working on contracts with the Home Office and the National Health Service.[citation needed]

During this period he also worked for Philip Hammond and Nick Herbert when they were shadow ministers, later becoming a Conservative councillor on Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council.[4][5]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Burley was elected to the House of Commons as Member of Parliament for Cannock Chase in the 2010 general election with a majority of 3,195.[6]

Burley was a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee from 2010 to 2011. Between 12 January 2011 and 17 December 2011 he was Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Secretary of State for Transport, first Philip Hammond and later Justine Greening.[7] He is a supporter of the Free Enterprise Group.[8]

Burley was named by Conservative Home as one of a minority of loyal Conservative backbench MPs not to have voted against the government in any significant rebellions.[9]

In 2014 Burley along with six other Conservative Party MPs voted against the Equal Pay (Transparency) Bill which would require all companies with more than 250 employees to declare the gap in pay between the average male and average female salaries.[10]

Political funding[edit]

The Cannock Chase Constituency Association has received £28,927 since 2010. Burley has received corporate donations from Japan Tobacco International, JCB Research, and the Conservative Friends of Israel. Burley received £3,600 in remunerations from Clever Together LLP for work he did for them in 2012.[11]


Nazi controversy[edit]

On 11 December 2011 it was reported by The Mail on Sunday that he had attended a stag party at the French ski resort of Val Thorens which involved Nazi salutes and a toast "to Tom for organising the stag do, and if we're perfectly honest, to the ideology and thought process of the Third Reich".[12][13] Burley subsequently released a statement through the Conservative Campaign Headquarters, saying: "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."[14] On 17 December 2011 the Prime Minister, David Cameron, sacked Burley from his role as PPS after new claims emerged linking him directly to "the offensive and foolish behaviour".[5][15] On 22 December, French prosecuting authorities announced they had started a preliminary inquiry into the event.[16] The groom was prosecuted for wearing Nazi uniform and his French lawyer said it was "deeply unfair" that Burley who had organised the uniforms had not also been prosecuted.[17]

An internal Conservative party enquiry found that Burley had "caused deep offence." Although not a racist, he had not clearly shown his disapproval of the Nazi toast and had not been present during Nazi chanting.[18] However the Daily Mail published pictures which it claimed proved that Burley had misled the enquiry in that he had been present during the chanting.[19] The paper also criticised the inquiry for accepting Burley's word at face value and not interviewing their reporters.[19] Claiming that Burley had already admitted bringing shame on the constituency, Ian Austin MP said the report's findings should be rejected and he should be kicked out of the party.[18]

Burley announced on 5 February 2014 that he would not contest the 2015 general election.[20]

Twitter controversy[edit]

During the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games, taking place in London, Burley denounced the content of the ceremony on the microblog Twitter as

"...leftie multicultural crap. Bring back Red Arrows, Shakespeare and the Stones".

He went on to suggest that it was

"the most leftie opening ceremony I have ever seen – more than Beijing, the capital of a Communist state".[21]

Burley later attempted to clarify his remarks, tweeting:

"Seems my tweet has been misunderstood. I was talking about the way it was handled in the show, not multiculturalism itself."[22]

Criticism both on Twitter and elsewhere followed the publication of the Tweet, with former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott replying: "That opening ceremony made me proud to be British. Your tweet made me angry that you are too."[23] Fellow Conservative MP Gavin Barwell also expressed indignation, writing that "us Londoners are rather proud of the diversity of our city," and noting that there was "nothing left-wing about it."[24] On 30 July, Prime Minister David Cameron commented that ""what (Burley) said was completely wrong ... an idiotic thing to say".[25]

Burley later commented that "parts of [the opening ceremony] were overtly political, like showing CND signs", and in reference to Dizzee Rascal's live performance of "Bonkers" Burley questioned why there was, in his view, a "huge, disproportionate focus on rap music when it is a small part of multiculturalism".[26]


  1. ^ "Aidan Burley". BBC Democracy Live. BBC. Retrieved 25 July 2010. 
  2. ^ "No. 59418". The London Gazette. 13 May 2010. p. 8745. 
  3. ^ a b "Aidan Burley". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 May 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "About Aidan". Aidan Burley. Retrieved 20 December 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d Glen Owen and George Arbuthnott (18 December 2011). "Cameron sacks 'foolish' MP who joined 'Hitler, Hitler, Hitler' stag it is revealed that he was the one who hired groom's Nazi uniform". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 20 December 2011. 
  6. ^ "Cannock Chase". BBC News. Archived from the original on 23 April 2010. Retrieved 9 May 2010. 
  7. ^ Aidan Burley
  8. ^ Free Enterprise Group
  9. ^ Barrett, Matthew. "The 24 Conservative MPs who are still on the backbenches and have never rebelled". Conservative Home. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "Equal Pay: Seven male Tory MPs vote against bill to make big companies reveal gender pay gap". 16 December 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  11. ^ "Donations made by Clever Together LLP to Aidan Burley". Aidan Burley. Search The Money Ltd. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  12. ^ Matt Sandy (11 December 2011). "Tory MP pays bill as Oxford-educated louts toasted Third Reich and chanted 'Hitler, Hitler, Hitler'". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 11 December 2011. 
  13. ^ "Tory MP Aidan Burley sacked over 'Nazi' stag party attendance". The Guardian. 18 December 2011. Archived from the original on 2 August 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2014. Aidan Burley had expressed deep regret at the "inappropriate" actions of guests, including toasts to the Third Reich, with whom he partied at a French ski resort. 
  14. ^ "MP Aidan Burley sorry for guests' stag party behaviour". BBC News. 11 December 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2011. 
  15. ^ "Conservative MP Aidan Burley sacked over Nazi-themed stag party". The Daily Telegraph. 17 December 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  16. ^ "Aidan Burley Nazi stag photos: French police inquiry". BBC News. 22 December 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  17. ^ Henry Samuel (18 December 2013). "Briton faces fine for wearing Nazi uniform at France stag party". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  18. ^ a b "Nazi stag MP Aidan Burley 'caused deep offence', report finds". BBC News. 22 January 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  19. ^ a b Simon Walters (25 January 2014). "Lies of Nazi shame Tory MP: Aidan Burley told inquiry he was NOT at pub where revellers chanted 'Hitler! Hitler!'... despite MoS exposé. Here's the proof he lied". Daily Mail. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  20. ^ "Nazi stag-do Tory MP Aidan Burley to step down". BBC News. BBC. 5 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  21. ^ "Online outrage after Tory MP's 'leftie Opening Ceremony' tweets". ITV News. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  22. ^ "Aidan Burley says 'leftie multi-cultural' tweet misunderstood". BBC News. 28 July 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2012. 
  23. ^ "'Leftie multicultural c***': MP brands Olympic Opening Ceremony a failure as a staggering 26.9million UK viewers tune in to watch". Daily Mail. 28 July 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  24. ^ "The latest news from Holyrood and Westminster". Daily Record. 15 December 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  25. ^ "David Cameron attacks 'idiotic' criticism from Aidan Burley MP". BBC News. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  26. ^ Manning, Lucy (28 July 2012). "Tory MP Aidan Burley not backing down on 'leftie' ceremony accusation". ITV News. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Tony Wright
Member of Parliament for Cannock Chase
Succeeded by
Amanda Milling