John Cherry
John Cherry quits after making racist comments about school children from south London (google/Chichester district council)

Conservative councillor John Cherry has been forced to resign after making racist remarks suggesting Pakistani children don't work hard.

Cherry, 73, from Chichester District Council, made his remarks after the Durand Academy in Stockwell, south London, put forward proposals to open an Eton-style boarding school in the West Sussex countryside.

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, he 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.

"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.

"The trauma of taking the children out of their natural surroundings is going to be considerable.

"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."

The Durand Academy said it wants to create space for 600 students in the countryside. They plan to take them to the school on Monday mornings and return them on Friday evenings.

Conservative party investigating

Other West Sussex locals have complained over the plans for the school, with some saying the students would have to be searched every day for drugs and weapons and that it would spoil a "tranquil place" by "bringing Brixton to the countryside".

Cherry's racist remarks have been widely condemned by his fellow politicians. 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."

A Conservative party spokesperson, added: "These comments are totally unacceptable and do not reflect the views of the Conservative party and we are investigating."

Cherry has since apologised for his comments and quit his post: "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."

Following his comments Kate Hoey, MP for Vauxhall, where the Durham Academy is situated, invited Cherry to the school to meet the students.

She later tweeted: "Cllr Cherry resigns and apologises. I still think it would be worthwhile him coming to meet the children of Durand Academy."