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UK Politics

Councillor quits AGAIN after comparing disabled children to the treatment of deformed lambs

He resigned in 2011 after saying that 'disabled children should be put down' 

A councillor has resigned for a second time in less than six months over comments he made about disabled children.

Collin Brewer, 68, resigned as a member of Cornwall Council days after he compared disabled children to deformed lambs. A standards board report censured him for his "outrageous and grossly insensitive remarks", but said they did not have the power to remove him from his seat. 

After his comments were published, the council received 180 complaints and a campaign was launched to force him to resign as the independent councillor for Wadebridge East.

Mr Brewer first resigned as a councillor for the district in February when comments he made to a charity worker in 2011 about disabled children costing the authority too much money entered the public domain.

He said that "disabled children cost the council too much money and should be put down".

On their website, Cornwall Council explained that following the Government’s abolition of Standards for England in 2012 and changes to the Code of Conduct regime, "the options available to the Council when a breach of the Code of Conduct is found have been limited."

"There is no longer the ability to suspend Councillors. The Council has never been able to disqualify Councillors in response to Code of Conduct complaints."

Mr Brewer resigned but in May was re-elected to the ward by just four votes. A week later he gave an interview to the Disability News Service, which has now led to him quitting his post for a second time.

Mr Brewer raised concerns about the "burden" of disabled children and compared the costs of looking after them to the maintenance of public toilets.

He compared farmers' treatment of deformed lambs to the way disabled children are dealt with.

"If they have a misshapen lamb, they get rid of it. They get rid of it. Bang," Mr Brewer said.

Earlier, this week Cornwall Council published a report by its monitoring officer, which found Mr Brewer had breached the councillors' code of conduct and formally censured him for the "outrageous and grossly insensitive remarks" he made in the interview.

A Cornwall Council spokeswoman said in a statement: "Cornwall Council has today received a letter from Collin Brewer confirming that he has formally resigned as the member for the Wadebridge East electoral division.

"The resignation takes effect from 10 July, the date the written confirmation was received by the council's monitoring officer.

"The council's electoral service will now be making arrangements for a by-election to be held."