A new Tory MP has apologised after he suggested unemployed people should have vasectomies to cut costs to the taxpayer.
Ben Bradley - who is tasked with building the Conservatives’ youth vote - made the comments in a blog post in 2012, unearthed by BuzzFeed News.
The Mansfield MP, who was made a party vice-chair in last week’s cabinet reshuffle, wrote that the UK was “drowning in a vast sea of unemployed wasters” because people on benefits were having too many children, and said he supported Iain Duncan Smith’s proposal at the time to introduce a benefit cap.
He went on: “It’s horrendous that there are families out there that can make vastly more than the average wage, (or in some cases more than a bloody good wage) just because they have 10 kids. Sorry but how many children you have is a choice; if you can’t afford them, stop having them! Vasectomies are free.
“There are hundreds of families in the UK who earn over £60,000 in benefits without lifting a finger because they have so many kids (and for the rest of us that’s a wage of over £90,000 before tax!).”
Cat Smith, Labour’s shadow minister for voter engagement and youth affairs, said Bradley’s comments were “repulsive”.
“They expose the Tories’ disgraceful attitude to unemployed people,” she added.
“That they come from a man Theresa May chose as a vice chair of her party speaks volumes. The nasty party is alive and well.”
The Lib Dems’ Layla Moran said Bradley should be ashamed of his “hugely misinformed and offensive comments”.
She added: “It beggars belief that someone who has shown such contempt for young people who are out of work has been tasked by the Prime Minister to improve her party’s appeal with young voters.
“This is another example of a shocking lack of due diligence by May and her team when making appointments to influential roles. This seriously draws their judgement into question.”
Bradley apologised for the remarks, saying his time in politics had “allowed me to mature, and I now realise that this language is not appropriate”.
The 28-year-old delivered one of the few Tory gains in the 2017 snap election, taking his Nottinghamshire seat from Labour.
In an interview with HuffPost UK, he said he admired David Cameron, describing the former PM as “alright for a posh lad”.
“I didn’t really connect it to party politics until I dropped out of uni,” he added.
“Working as a landscaper and digging holes and having a bit of a miserable time and then kind of figuring out there were a lot of people doing not as much work as me and still seem to be enjoying themselves more than me.
“I’ve probably always been Conservative without really knowing, just on the basis I don’t think the Government should do everything for you. It’s about giving people the opportunity to sort themselves out.”