UPDATE 18/09 15:15: Philip Taylor has released a statement regarding his comments (see below)

A Tory councillor has sparked controversy after suggesting that "silly old fart" David Attenborough should commit suicide after the broadcaster said overpopulation was reaching disastrous levels.

Attenborough was discussing the sending of food aid to Africa, a practice he described as "barmy".

He told the Daily Telegraph: "What are all these famines in Ethiopia, what are they about?

david attenborough

Attenborough is often described as a "national treasure"

"They're about too many people for too little land. That's what it's about. And we are blinding ourselves."

Soon after Ealing Councillor, Phil Taylor, made his views on the comments known on Twitter.


Phil Taylor
I do wish this silly old fart would take a one-way trip to Switzerland. Practice what you preach.

Switzerland is well known as a destination for those wishing to commit assisted suicide at the Dignitas clinic.

taylor

It is not known if anyone has ever referred to Mr Taylor as a "national treasure"

Taylor was immediately deluged with tweets calling his comments "disgraceful", "horrible" and "unnecessary".


Jane Salisbury
What a horrible thing to say. Unnecessary.


Julian Bell
You can agree or disagree with Sir David Attenborough but your comments are shocking & disgraceful! Apologise or resign!


Chris Coulson
.@philjvtaylor Whether you agree with his comments or not, surely you're intelligent enough to realize that this response is disgraceful?

Writing on his blog, Taylor said: "Today I have created a bit of a storm with a comment I made on Twitter about David Attenborough. It was an off the cuff, ironic comment and I didn’t set out to make anyone miserable.

"If David Attenborough is unhappy I am sorry. I don’t suppose he expects to comment on such contentious topics as population control and not get a strong response.

"The background to this is that David Attenborough has for many years been a patron of the Optimum Population Trust which now calls itself Population Matters. My tweet reflected my frustration with Attenborough repeatedly using his “national treasure” status to promote a set of views that see people as being a problem. His prescriptions seem always to apply to other people.

"My view of the world is that we have to work out how to make sure that the 9 billion people who will populate the world by 2050 all have a good life. They all have hopes and dreams and don’t need to be told what to do by Attenborough and his organisation.

"I won’t be discussing this incident any more."

Loading Slideshow...
  • George Bush: "Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job"

    George Bush was quick to praise Director of FEMA, Michael Brown, for his handling of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. However it quickly transpired his complete incompetence and mismanagement of the situation contributed to the deaths of 1,833 people and reduced New Orleans to a ruin from yet it is still fully to recover. Brown resigned shortly after.

  • John Gummer: "Have a burger dear" (or something along those line)

    In 1990 John Gummer shamelessly used his four-year-old daughter as a televised political pawn in demonstrating the UK had nothing to fear from contracting BSE from eating beef. <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/369625.stm" target="_blank">Eight years and 32 deaths later</a> the former agriculture minister said: "Adults, about themselves, may take a certain kind of risk. "They smoke and of all sorts of things. The only fair question, I think, before I made a comment to the public was that I thought this was safe for my children to eat."

  • Bill Clinton: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman"

    Yes you did Bill, yes you bloody well did...

  • Barack Obama: "This is me following through. on an understanding that dates back to our founding fathers, that we are willing to observe core standards of conduct not just when it's easy but also when it's hard."

    And so said Obama as he signed an executive order to close Guantanamo Bay in 2009. Over four years later the prison camp remains open with 166 prisoners 86 of whom have been cleared for release but are stuck in a legal limbo with nowhere to go. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/30/obama-gitmo_n_3185718.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-politics" target="_blank">Many are currently on hunger strike in a desperate attempt to highlight their plight</a>.

  • Gordon Brown: “I have said before: "No return to boom and bust”

    Brown said this in 2006. Two years later the entire world imploded as banks collapsed, recession hit and we all walked sombrely into a future of unemployment, austerity and George Osborne's face.

  • David Cameron: UK economy "is out of the danger zone"

    Shortly after making this bold statement in September 2010 Cameron and his colleagues managed to steer the economy into a double-dip recession.

  • David Steel: "Go back to your constituencies and prepare for government."

    Steel's rallying call to the newly formed SDP-Liberal Alliance in 1981 was a tad premature. Fired up by the Falklands war, Britain's electorate opted for another term of Thatcher.

  • Richard Nixon: "I am not a crook"

    Said at the height of the Watergate scandal, a subsequent investigation found that Nixon was indeed, a crook.

  • Edwina Currie: "Most of the egg production in this country, sadly, is now affected with salmonella."

    In 1988 Currie, then health minister, announced most of the country's eggs were infected with salmonella. This caused outrage amongst farmers and to make amends she started the National Egg Awareness Campaign in 1990 in an attempt to reassure the public. (To be fair to Eggwina, in 2001 a covered-up government report revealed there had indeed been a "salmonella epidemic of considerable proportions").

  • Neville Chamberlain: "Peace in our time"

    After returning from this 1938 conference with some decidedly shifty looking chaps, British PM, Neville Chamberlain, (far left) declared he had appeased a rather tetchy Hitler and brought peace to Europe. A year later the most devastating conflict the world has ever seen broke out bringing global bloodshed, the Holocaust and nuclear war. Told you they were shifty.