POLITICS
08/07/2013 10:27 BST | Updated 08/07/2013 10:43 BST

Cornwall Councillor, Colin Brewer, Who Said Disabled Children Should Be Put Down, Can't Be Fired

The Cornwall councillor who said disabled children should be put down has been found guilty of misconduct but cannot be fired from his job.

An investigation into Colin Brewer's comments found they were "outrageous and grossly offensive", reports the Cornish Guardian.

Despite the findings, Cornwall council, although "frustrated", are powerless to remove him from his position.

Brewer said in 2011 that "disabled children cost the council too much money and should be put down" and insisted there was nothing wrong with the remarks.

He then went on to make an analogy between disabled children and the treatment of farm animals.

He said: “If they have a misshapen lamb, they get rid of it. They get rid of it. Bang!

"We are just animals. He [the farmer] obviously has got a point… You can’t have lambs running around with five legs and two heads.

“It [the lamb] would be put down, smashed against the wall and be dealt with.”

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Despite the comments the Independent councillor went on to win a seat in his division of Wadebridge East, beating the Lib Dem candidate by two votes.

A council spokesman said: “The authority previously had the ability to suspend councillors following the investigation and determination of Code of Conduct complaints, however, following the government’s changes to the Code of Conduct complaints process, this sanction is no longer available."

A number of petitions and Facebook groups were set up to demand his resignation as well as a protest by disability campaigners.

Brewer has used various explanations to explain his views.

Speaking to Disability News Service, Collin Brewer said he was not the "ogre" he had been made out to be, adding that constituents in his rural ward had shaken his hand and congratulated him, despite his controversial comments.

He told 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.

He has also suggested a series of strokes before the incident could explain why he “flared up”.