independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

UK politician Collin Brewer resigns over saying disabled children should be 'put down'

A Cornwall councillor at the centre of a row over comments he made about disabled children has resigned.

Collin Brewer yesterday apologised for saying disabled children should be "put down" because they cost the authority too much money - but had refused to resign.

Mr Brewer, an independent Cornwall councillor, said his remarks at an event at County Hall in Truro were designed to "provoke a debate".

Mr Brewer told the BBC it was unlikely he would run as a candidate in the May elections. "I was wrong, I admit it," he said.

"I will continue to apologise," he said.

Mr Brewer made the remarks to a disabilities charity at an event designed to allow councillors to meet equal opportunity organisations and understand the issues they face.

Mr Brewer reportedly approached a stall run by Disability Cornwall at the event, and was told about the work of the charity.

He responded by saying: "Disabled children cost the council too much money and should be put down."

The veteran council member was been met with a storm of criticism from disabled people, their carers and campaigners - including former glamour model Katie Price, whose son Harvey is disabled - after the comments received widespread attention this week.

Disability Cornwall called for Mr Brewer to resign and a spokesman for disabled charity Scope described Mr Brewer's outburst as “outrageous”, saying: “To hear such an ill-judged and insensitive statement from a councillor is deeply disturbing and demonstrates that they are clearly not fit for office.”

Mr Brewer had initially refused to resign saying his comments were "a flippant remark".

But he has since reconsidered his position. Asked in an interview with BBC Radio Cornwall whether those offended by his comments would be pleased with his decision, Mr Brewer said: "I know they will be.

"This is my first indiscretion - not that there's any excuse for that."

He said he had received messages of support from at least half a dozen councillors who contacted him over his remarks.

"They know this is against my character," he said.

"I was wrong - I admit it. I will continue to apologise."

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