The highly succesful Durand Academy, Stockwell, wants to start a boarding school for 600 secondary school children from the Brixton area on a site in the village of Stedham, West Sussex.
But according to an article in the Mail on Sunday today, Sussex county councillor John Cherry, said: “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.
“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.”
Referring to Stockwell as a “coloured area”, he added: “To be honest, I would far rather Durand took over a secondary school in London rather than shoving everybody here.”
According to the Standard, Cherry stood down from the Tory party tonight, saying: “My remarks about Durand Academy, as reported in the Mail on Sunday today, 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.”
Lee Jasper, former race relations advisor to the Mayor of London, had earlier called for Cherry to be expelled from the Tory party. He told Brixton Blog today: “This type of unreconstructed racism is frankly disgusting. David Cameron must throw this bigoted and offensive Councillor out of the Tory Party.
“The Prime Minister himself must now come out and personally support this superb initiative to raise the educational achievement of Lambeth’s young people and distance himself from this awful racism.”
He added: “Failure to do so will leave all communities in no doubt that despite Cameron’s modernising rhetoric the Tory Party remains the Nasty Party.”
Cllr John Cherry, 73, is a former merchant banker who was educated at the prestigious Wellington College, where fees today cost £31,500 per child per year.
Tonight a spokesman for the education minister Michael Gove waded into the row, slamming Cherry for blocking an “inspirational” idea. The spokesman told the Daily Mail: “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.”
Cllr Cherry did not reply to the Blog‘s request for comment.