Councillor blasted for “unacceptable” remarks about immigrants

14:12 21 April 2013

A Tory councillor who said that some nationalities are “uncertain” what hard work means has been condemned by his party.

Responding to proposals by the Durand Academy, in south London, to open an Eton-style boarding school in the Sussex countryside, Councillor John Cherry was also quoted by the Mail on Sunday warning Pakistani children will fail to “rise to the top”.

The Chichester councillor said children allowed “out of the site” would want to “escape into the forest - it will be a sexual volcano”.

A Conservative Party spokesman said: “These comments are totally unacceptable and do not reflect the views of the Conservative Party and we are investigating.”

Stephen Twigg MP, Labour’s shadow education secretary, said: “When a Tory councillor makes openly racist comments like these, it’s no surprise people still think of the Conservatives 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.”

The plans of the Durand Academy, which is based in Stockwell, have sparked some opposition from people living near the proposed boarding school site.

The proposal is to use St Cuthman’s School, a disused boarding school in Stedham, West Sussex, which the academy reportedly bought for £3.4million in 2010.

Starting next September, the high-achieving London academy will have 625 places for pupils between 13 and 18 at St Cuthman’s. It plans by then to have built extra teaching and boarding blocks, with £17million of government support.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the Department for Education (DfE) has said it finds it “difficult to believe” anyone, including Cllr Cherry, would have a problem with such an “inspirational” project.

The DfE said in a statement: “Durand has a superb record of helping some of our most disadvantaged pupils achieve brilliant results thanks to a rigorous curriculum, great teaching and sky-high expectations for all pupils.

“Durand’s boarding school is a bold experiment and a chance to give inner-city youngsters a truly world-class education.”

Councillor Cherry, who represents Stedham, was quoted in the Mail on Sunday as saying: “Ninety-seven per cent of pupils will be black or Asian.

“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.

“There are certain nationalities where hard work is highly valued. There are certain nationalities where they are uncertain what this hard work is all about.”

He reportedly 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.”

Councillor Cherry declined to comment on the accuracy of the comments or to make any further comment when contacted by the Press Association.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

After weeks of challenges and cringeworthy boardroom showdowns, Lord Sugar made a decision – and Twitter was watching.

Read more

And the runner-up was OK about losing out to the “very credible” winner.

Read more

And we were all invited to the happy couple’s big day!

Read more

Promoted content

We've got a great selection of Secret Santa presents and stocking fillers for under a tenner...  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Office Secret Santa: it’s a Christmas ritual that everyone dreads, but no-one wants to seem like a Scrooge by saying no. Never fear, London24 is here to make buying gifts for Dave in Accounts simple and stress-free, with a selection of presents for under a tenner

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

After weeks of challenges and cringeworthy boardroom showdowns, Lord Sugar made a decision – and Twitter was watching.

And we were all invited to the happy couple’s big day!

And they have a role to play in saving their species.

TOP Stories

Yesterday, 18:22
Eragon the chihuahua has been reunited with his owner for Christmas after being found in a Santa sack miles away from his home (Picture: RSPCA)

A tiny chihuahua from London has been reunited with his owner for Christmas after being found left in a Santa sack on a church porch all the way in Hertfordshire.

Yesterday, 18:02
A murder investigation was launched after police were called to reports of a man stabbed at Lumley Flats in Pimlico Road (Picture: Google Streetview)

A 65-year-old woman has been bailed after being arrested on suspicion of murder following the fatal stabbing of a man at a flat in Pimlico.

Yesterday, 19:08
Chloe Williams  has not been seen since 3.30pm on Saturday, December 21 after leaving her home in Chingford (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

Police are appealing for information on the whereabouts of a missing 20-year-old woman from Chingford who said she was going to a friend’s house and has not been since.

London Bloggers

Thursday, November 27, 2014
The main room at the Museum of Comedy (Pic: Steve Ullathorne)

This week I visited the Museum of Comedy located at the corner of Museum Street and Bloomsbury Way in the crypt under St George’s Church.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
Bird Lovegod

I genuinely and honestly have only a slight problem when it comes to buying domain names.

Friday, November 14, 2014
Bird says back up your data

What happened after a friend of mine lost basically everything he’d created in the last 5 years: