French prosecutors have opened an investigation into a Nazi-themed party attended by Conservative MP Aidan Burley, it was announced yesterday.
A spokesman for the public prosecutor in the Alpine resort of Albertville confirmed that a preliminary inquiry has been launched, but refused to comment further.
The news prompted calls from Labour for Prime Minister David Cameron to withdraw the whip from the Cannock Chase MP until the inquiry is concluded.
Mr Burley, who has apologised for the incident, has already been sacked from his unpaid Government job as a parliamentary private secretary over the affair.
But Labour MP Ian Austin 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.”
It is understood that the investigation was prompted by a complaint from French pressure group SOS Racisme over the stag party in a restaurant in the ski resort of Val Thorens.
Reports suggest that one of the 12 friends attending wore a replica SS officer’s uniform, while another toasted the Third Reich and there were chants of “Himmler, Himmler, Himmler”.
Under French law, it is a crime to wear uniforms, insignia or emblems linked to the Nazi regime, unless they are being used for a film, play or historical exhibition.
Mr Burley yesterday told the BBC: “I do not believe I have broken any French law and have distanced myself from the behaviour of other people on the stag.”
In a message to constituents on Wednesday, the MP voiced his “deepest regret”, adding: “There are no excuses for my foolish behaviour which, over the past two weeks, has caused so much distress to so many people.
“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.”