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Disability Rights: Colin Brewer Cornwall Councillor Says 'Disabled Children Should Be Put Down'

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Colin Brewer, councillor for Wadebridge East
Colin Brewer, councillor for Wadebridge East

A Cornwall councillor has refused to resign after saying "disabled children cost the council too much money and should be put down", insisting he has done nothing wrong.

Independent councillor Colin Brewer made the comments to Theresa Court, who works for Disability Cornwall, while she was manning a stall at the County Hall in Truro in October 2011.

She made a formal complaint against him and that complaint has only recently been resolved, with the independent standards committee ruling that Mr Brewer needs to write a letter of apology to the organisation.

While the letter has been written, Brewer remains defiant over his right to remain in his councillor role, saying

"Clearly it has gone to the standards board to provide any penalty whatsoever and the penalty they imposed was to write a letter of apology.

"I have no intention of resigning. I don't think I have done anything wrong. I have apologised."

Theresa Court told the Huffington Post UK it was "quite frankly an insult that he had to be told to apologise after a year and a half."

She said the manner in which the letter arrived was like he was making a stand, with "a second class stamp and folded into no less than eight pieces."

Ms Court added: "Comments like this are disability hate speech which incites disability hate crime, sadly on the rise in this economic climate.

"Anybody who says such things is in no position to hold public office. He was on council duty at the time. We want to raise awareness that this councillor is making funding decisions in this county about disabled people."

Brewer has given various explanations for his behaviour, telling the BBC "I said they should be put down. I was just hot under the collar, I suppose, coming from a council meeting where we had been talking about budget cuts and staff cuts.

"Sometimes people can just catch you on the wrong day.

"It's not a good enough excuse, I will forever be apologising for it. I can't apologise enough. It's not something that's in my nature, I always support disabled charities.

"I am very sorry."

He earlier said he was facing no calls to resign, however there is now a Facebook group called Councillor Colin Brewer should resign, which has over 500 'likes.'

Ms Court said "I think he's digging a deeper hole. He said he was having a bad day, well he should think about another job. I was at the event with parents who have beautiful disabled children. It was a vile and hideous thing to say, truly offensive.

"If was really sorry he would have apologised after two days, not a year and a half."

This is Cornwall reports that the Independent group have now removed Colin as from their group. Leader John Wood said he was aware of the event at the time, but that the formal complaints procedure needed to be completed before he could make a move.

He told the local newspaper: "I was at County Hall at the time of the incident and was approached by the lady who Colin had said this to. She came running at me and was in tears, asking me to do something. I had to tell her to go and see the council's monitoring officer and lodge a formal complaint."

A spokesman for disabled charity Scope described Mr Brewer's outburst as "outrageous".

He said: "Comments such as this have absolutely no place in modern society and should be consigned to the history books.

"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.

"Sadly hostility such as this is not uncommon for many disabled people and it is thoughtless comments like this that make it even harder for them to overcome the multiple barriers they face and live their lives just like everyone else."

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Councillor 'sorry' after 'put down disabled' jibe | This is Cornwall

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