'Disabled children should be put down': Cornwall councillor Collin Brewer to be investigated by police over controversial comments

Brewer apologised and resigned earlier this year after his comments but was re-elected earlier this month

A councillor who compared disabled children with deformed lambs that are dealt with at birth by “smashing them against a wall” is being investigated by police over his comments, it emerged.

Colin Brewer also claimed in an interview there were good arguments for killing some disabled babies with high support needs because of the cost of providing them with services. Speaking to Disability News Service (DNS), he said: “If (farmers) have a misshapen lamb, they get rid of it. They get rid of it. Bang! If you go to a farmer’s funeral there is not a lot of weeping because they are used to life and death. It is something they deal with on a daily basis.”

The 68-year-old’s views were universally condemned. Mark Gatiss, the League of Gentleman and Sherlock star, tweeted a link to reports, adding: “A Nazi. Disgusting.”

It is not the first time Brewer’s comments on disability have been condemned. The independent councillor resigned earlier this year following publication of a standards committee report into a complaint into comments made to a charity worker in 2011 that disabled children could be “put down” to save taxpayers’ money. Mr Brewer somehow won back his seat in local elections on 2 May with 335 votes – a winning margin of four votes.

John Pring, who runs DNS, had tried on numerous occasions to interview Mr Brewer before the councillor finally agreed to talk. Mr Brewer told Mr Pring he discussed his previous statements about putting disabled children down with a farmer from his Wadebridge East constituency. He claimed the farmer made it clear he “didn’t see a lot wrong with what I said, because it is something they do every day’.

He added: “We are just animals. He obviously has got a point - you can’t have lambs running around with five legs and two heads. It would be put down, smashed against the wall and be dealt with.”

When asked if he believed there was not much difference between putting down a lamb and a child with two heads, he said: ‘I think the cost has got to be evaluated. It is not something I would like to do but there is only so much in the bucket.”

Mr Pring told The Independent he was “deeply disturbed” at what he was hearing. “I wanted to speak to Colin Brewer to find out if he really did hold these views about disabled people and social care costs – and he clearly does.”

In the transcript of the interview seen by The Independent, Mr Brewer goes onto to discuss “the terrible consequences of our breeding” due to “a tax system that encourages people to breed like rabbits”. When asked what his solution was, he said: “I think the Chinese had a way of doing it: one child family.”

Leading charity Mencap, and thousands of others, called on Mr Brewer to resign. Mr Pring said that it was important to expose Mr Brewer’s views again given that the bill allowing terminally ill people to be helped to die is tabled in the House of Lords tomorrow (Thursday).

The leaders of all Cornwall council’s political parties signed a letter saying: “Such views have no place in local government.”

Devon and Cornwall Police said: “This matter has been formally reported [and we] will now look into the comments made to establish whether any offence has been committed.”

Mr Brewer, who is currently off sick from work due to a series of strokes, did not return The Independent’s call.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory