'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
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West, performing in New York last week, has been the subject of controversy as rock's traditional headline slot at Glastonbury is lost once again
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Life and Style
Drinking - often heavily - is a running theme throughout HBO's Game of Thrones adaptation
food + drink
News
people
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

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

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living