Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Councillor refuses to resign after telling campaigners that disabled children 'should be put down'

Collin Brewer has apologised after being ordered to do so

A local councillor who said disabled children “should be put down” has apologised - but refused to resign, claiming he “did nothing wrong”.

Collin Brewer, an independent councillor from Wadebridge, north Cornwall, made the remarks to a disabilities charity at an event designed to allow councillors to meet equal opportunity organisations and understand the issues they face.

Mr Brewer approached an information stand run by Disability Cornwall at the event, and was told about the charities work with children with special needs.

Mr Brewer responded by saying: “Disabled children cost the council too much money and should be put down.”

Theresa Court, advice services manager with Disability Cornwall, made a formal complaint about Mr Brewer’s remarks.

That complaint has only recently been resolved, although the event was held in October 2011.

Mr Brewer has apologised, after being ordered to do so by the standards board that ruled on the complaint, but has refused to resign.

He told the BBC: “Clearly it has gone to the standards board to provide any penalty whatsoever and the penalty they imposed was to write a letter of apology.

”I have no intention of resigning. I don't think I have done anything wrong. I have apologised.

“I have been a councillor for nearly 26 years. I have always worked to the best of my ability.”

Disability Cornwall has called for Mr Brewer to resign. A spokesman for disabled charity Scope described Mr Brewer's outburst as “outrageous”, adding: “To hear such an ill-judged and insensitive statement from a councillor is deeply disturbing and demonstrates that they are clearly not fit for office.”

Mr Brewer 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.

”It's not a good enough excuse, I will forever be apologising for it. I can't apologise enough. It's not something that's in my nature, I always support disabled charities.“