Ukip councillor Gordon Gillick 'deeply sorry' over claims he called children in care 'takers from the system'

The Cambridge county councillor apologised after he was found to have breached the members’ code of conduct

A Ukip councillor who allegedly asked children who had grown up in council care homes how if felt “to be takers from the system”, has apologised after he was found to have breached the members’ code of conduct.

Cllr Gordon Gillick said he was “deeply sorry” for bringing Cambridge County Council into disrepute, the Cambridge News reported.

An investigation concluded that Cllr Gillick had failed to treat three teenagers in care, who were visiting Shire Hall for a training session, with respect.

Cllr Gillick, who is a father of 10 and has 42 grandchildren, said in a letter to the council that he “completely accepted” the findings.

“I now appreciate that what I said was inappropriate, and I regret that I did so,” he said.

“Furthermore, I realise that what I said may well have hurt the feelings of the young people present at the training session and I am deeply sorry for any pain I have caused them.”

The county councillor, who represents Waldersey, added: “I apologise unreservedly for the distress my ill-considered remarks have caused, and I am prepared to apologise in person to the individuals concerned if it is deemed appropriate for me to do so.”

A number of complaints were lodged following Cllr Gillick’s comments during the session on safeguarding children on 6 November last year. Complaints were made on behalf of the three teenagers involved and by a number of councillors who were in attendance. Four members of the public also complained.

Cllr Gillick had first interrupted the session when Nicola Clemo, the children’s social care director, was speaking about court hearings involving children in care, said investigator Steve Tinkler.

Cllr Gillick allegedly shouted out: “These are secret courts aren’t they, come on, tell us the truth.”

He spoke again later when the three teenagers were showing a film detailing their experiences.

Mr Tinkler said it was “impossible” to verify exactly what he said in this second interjection.

The complaint from the councillors alleged Cllr Gillick said: “It was all very ‘me, me, me’ your film. What about your responsibilities – to work, to give back, for example. Can you tell us, how does it feel to be takers from the system?”

But the complaint on behalf of the teenagers claimed he said: “It’s a funny world where young people are taught to take, take. That film was all about ‘me, me, me’, and that children should be taught to give.”

Cllr Gillick claimed he said: “What I hear from the film is ‘I, I’, ‘me, me’; at some point you will have to put something back.”

He added that he was sorry and it had not been his intention to cause offence.

The findings are due to be considered by the constitution and ethics committee, which cleared Cllr Gillick of bullying, on 22 April. It will decide whether to refer the matter for hearing by the hearings sub-committee or to take alternative action.

Cllr Gillick is married to Victoria Gillick, a well-known campaigner who tried to prevent doctors prescribing contraception to under-16s without parental consent.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Voices
A recent rise in net migration has been considered bad news for the Government
voicesYet when we talk about it, the national media goes into a frenzy, says Nigel Farage
Life and Style
Miracle muffin: chemicals can keep a muffin looking good at least a month after it was bought
food + drinkThe alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Sport
Jonny Evans and Papiss Cisse come together
football
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform Engineer - VMware / SAN / Tier3 DC

£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...

Recruitment Genius: Purchasing Assistant

£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger Assistant

£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Ashdown Group: Automated Tester / Test Analyst - .Net / SQL - Cheshire

£32000 per annum + pension, healthcare & 23 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A gro...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers