Councillor resigns from Tory party after ‘racist’ comments about Brixton schoolchildren

Written by on April 21, 2013 in Council, Education, News, Uncategorized - 7 Comments

s-DURANDSCHOOL-largeA Tory councillor who said ethnic minority pupils from Lambeth were not welcome in a picturesque Sussex village has resigned from the Conservative Party after widespread condemnation of his comments.

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.


Cllr John Cherry

“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 has resigned as Chairman of Brixton Splash

Lee Jasper has called for Cllr Cherry to be sacked

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.


About the Author

Tim Dickens is co-founder of Brixton Blog

7 Comments on "Councillor resigns from Tory party after ‘racist’ comments about Brixton schoolchildren"

  1. Megan Lees-McCowan April 25, 2013 at 7:55 pm ·

    You can sign the petition to support Durand Academy’s application here:

    • jk April 26, 2013 at 10:50 am ·

      Why do parents want their children to go to boarding schools in Sussex, why not build day schools in the local area.

      Look at our MPs, products of boarding schools, hardly a good advert for these schools.

      Why have children if you can’t wait to get rid of them.

  2. jk April 22, 2013 at 3:19 pm ·

    Good to see Jasper has time to give his opinions.

    Good luck in finding a new public organisation to sponge off.

  3. Gert April 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm ·

    I’m glad you’re not making the mistake the BBC is, that is, implying he has resigned as a councillor. He continues to represent local residents. Whether he continues to have influence on his local council depends upon whether the ruling Tory group are happy to continue to work with him. Your guess is as good as mine!

  4. Tom April 22, 2013 at 1:51 pm ·

    Jesus christ, that’s the worst thing I’ve ever heard from any British politician. Surely he could be prosecuted for comments that blatantly racist?!

    • John April 22, 2013 at 3:03 pm ·

      Well, it is arguably no worse than other politicians who routinely stir up fear and hatred by talking about the ‘’floods’’ of ‘’bogus’’ asylum seekers so they can play on peoples’ prejudice and attract their votes while at the same time giving those voters a handy target to blame for the failure of said politicians to fix our myriad problems.

  5. John April 22, 2013 at 10:09 am ·

    ‘sexual volcano’? ‘coloured area’? Same old Tories.

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