Racism - Former Midhurst Tory escapes prosecution

Former Tory councillor John Cherry
Former Tory councillor John Cherry

FORMER Tory councillor John Cherry will not face prosecution over remarks he made on proposals to open a boarding academy for socially disadvantaged inner city children at Stedham.

Mr Cherry who was at the time, standing as the Tory candidate for Midhurst in West Sussex County Council elections, was forced to resign from the Conservative party in the racism storm that followed his comments.

He suggested the children from Stockwell would not be welcome if the proposed academy went ahead on the site of the former St Cuthman’s School.

He said 97 per cent of the pupils would be black or Asian adding Pakistani children would fail to ‘rise to the top’ and further claimed: “There are some nationalities where they are uncertain what this hard work is all about.”

Mr Cherry was reported to both the county council and Chichester District Council Standards Boards for his remarks. He later apologised saying his remarks that been “plainly wrong.”

Sussex Police investigated after receiving two complaints about his statements reported in the Mail on Sunday in April.

A police spokesman said: “It has been concluded there is no evidence of a criminal offence having been committed, and therefore no action is being taken by police. We consulted the CPS in arriving at our decision.”

Under electoral law Mr Cherry’s name remained on ballot papers as the Tory candidate but he lost his seat to Independent Gordon McAra.