Tory Councillor resigns after remarks on Pakistani students

30th May 2013

By Elham Asaad Buaras


A Tory Councillor has resigned from the Party after making derogatory comments about the prospect of Pakistani children from London studying in West Sussex.


John Cherry, District Councillor for Stedham, was forced to resign after claiming Pakistani pupils would fail to “rise to the top” and claimed some nationalities were “uncertain” what hard work is about.


The 73-year old also suggested inner-city children from a “coloured area” would not be welcome at a proposed new boarding school in the countryside.

He apologised for the comments after the Tory Party announced it had begun action to suspend him.


Cherry was commenting on the Durand Academy in Stockwell, south London, which plans to open a boarding school for 600 students in Stedham village next year.


Cherry said; “Ninety-seven per cent of pupils will be black or Asian,” he said. “It depends what type of Asian. If they’re Chinese, they’ll rise to the top. If they’re Indian, they’ll rise to the top. If they’re Pakistani, they won’t.”


Cherry also appeared to suggest that keeping the students confined to the school premises would prove dangerous. “If the children are not allowed out of the site then it will make them want to escape into the forest – it will be a sexual volcano,” he said. “Has anyone asked whether these children want to be plucked from their natural surroundings? They have never done boarding before, so they won’t know how it works.”


He added: “Stockwell is a coloured area – I have no problem with that. To be honest, I would far rather Durand took over a secondary school in London rather than shoving everybody here.”


Announcing his resignation, Cherry said his remarks “were plainly wrong. They were thoughtless and extremely foolish. I unreservedly apologise and withdraw them. I very much regret the distress this must have caused.”


The Tory Party said it had accepted his resignation with immediate effect: “We completely condemn what he said. These comments are totally unacceptable and do not reflect the views of the Tory Party. ”


Labour’s Education spokesman, Stephen Twigg, said: “When a Tory Councillor makes openly racist comments like these, it’s no surprise people still think of the Tories as the nasty party. David Cameron must condemn his Councillor’s words and take immediate action against Councillor Cherry to show that he will not accept racism in his party.”


Labour MP Kate Hoey, who represents Stockwell, tweeted: “I invite Cllr Cherry to visit Durand Academy in Stockwell to meet those who will be boarding. Stedham will gain hugely from their presence.”


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