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A Cornish councillor who said “disabled children cost the council too much money and should be put down” is refusing to resign.

Colin Brewer, the Independent for Wadebridge East in North Cornwall, made the comments to members of Hayle charity Disability Cornwall.

The ardent disability campaigners and the angry former salesman clashed as he left a ‘difficult debate’ and walked into an equalities fayre at Town Hall in October 2011.

Brewer says he was ‘het up’ after the long council meeting and only made the remarks to goad the woman who approached him because he was irritated she was ‘obviously trying to sell me something’.

The woman who put in the official complaint, and her MBE boss, say they expected Cllr Brewer to resign, rather than write a letter of apology, after they reported him to a standards watchdog.

Mr Brewer was forced to admit he said; ‘“Disabled children cost the council too much money and should be put down.”

But he claims he was surprised his outrageous remark sparked not a combative reply, but an official complaint.

He told reporters: “I had come to their stall after a long council meeting and I was probably a little bit het up as we had had some difficult debates.

“I could see that they were trying to sell me something so I said something to them which I thought would provoke a reaction. But they turned their backs on me and I walked away – I thought that was the end of the matter until the complaint.

“I used to be a salesman and I said it to provoke them into a discussion – I expected them to parry it and talk to me.

“I didn’t mean any offence and didn’t want to upset anyone.”

Cllr Brewer is one of 32 council independents who make up just over 20 per-cent of the local authoritys politicians.

Disability Cornwall were at the fayre lobbying for their cause; they draw much of their funding from the council, but also get money from the Heritage Lottery, other charities, and financial organisations like Lloyds Bank.

You can see what they do and check out their politics HERE

Public opinion has settled firmly against Cllr Brewer.

Popular Cornish blogger An Helghyer stormed: “In my opinion he should be sacked, never mind resigning and also have a visit from the local Constabulary.

“This man is seemingly a ‘Class-A’ asshole and someone who most certainly, in 21st century Cornwall, should not be party to making any decsions that affect us at all.

“‘Colin Brewer, independent councillor for Wadebridge East’ – Remember that name if you live in that area come the May elections”

Disability Cornwall advice services manager Theresa Court made the official complaint against Cllr Brewer.

She told reporters; “As far as I was concerned I had a duty to make a formal complaint against Councillor Brewer to seek appropriate justice

“I was absolutely horrified anyone would make such a depraved comment, let alone a Cornwall councillor and at a public event.

The independent standards committee ordered Mr Brewer to write a letter of apology.

He wrote: “I am writing to offer my whole hearted apology for the offence these remarks have clearly caused.

“While I meant no offence by my remarks to you I can see, in retrospect, that they were ill judged and insensitive and should not have been made at all.”

The chairman of Disability Cornwall Steve Paget MBE said he expected ‘no less’ than that the elected member for Wadebridge East should resign his post.

He commented: “It is of great concern to us that anyone with such beliefs could be a representative and elected member of our local authority, let alone vocalise such opinions.

“For such a serious issue and multiple breach of code of conduct, bringing the council into disrepute, we did expect no less than this councillor’s resignation.”

What do you think about Cllr Brewers comment? Do you think he should resign? Let us know! Just post below!

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Posted by on February 26, 2013. Filed under Today's Top Cornish Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry


  1. Romy

    February 26, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    This man is a total asshole and this is bang out of order. What happened to equalty? How could the council not sack him for this? They should immediately or he should hang his head in shame and resign

  2. Stonefly

    February 26, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    If Cllr Brewer gets so ‘het up’ by ‘difficult debates’ maybe he should reconsider his suitability for local politics. Of course he won’t resign – that’d mean pulling his snout from the expenses trough.

  3. Rollo Snook

    February 27, 2013 at 1:30 am

    There’s no other option for Cornwall Council other than to sack him and bring in the Police. The comments were made to a disabled causes organisation and regardless of circumstances and excuses, he committed an offence under the Public Order Act.

    Asking for a letter of apology is totally inappropriate and corrupt in itself.

  4. Daniel

    February 27, 2013 at 1:42 am

    Obviously this man is not fit for public office at any level. He should be sacked and barred for any kind of public role for the rest of his life. As someone who has been coping with disability for 30 years from young adulthood, I find Colin Brewer’s remark to be highly offensive, perhaps even threatening. If he can be punished beyond getting the chop (so to speak), he should be.

  5. Theresa

    February 27, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    This repulsive creature is not only unfit for office, but also unfit to mix with the rest of humanity, his remarks are beyond offensive. He should be sacked, I understand that the council is limited in its ability to do this, however they can stongly urge him to reconsider his position, that at least, would demonstrate to everyone else that they condemn his actions

  6. Glen

    February 27, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Well said Collin Brewer. Not worried about the cost in money terms its just all the other rubbish that comes with the disabled lobby. Strangely enough, a landlord can refuse entry to all he likes or dislikes without having to give a reason…… except for disabled people.

    Note to readers and contributors; we did edit this comment. Parts of it were cruel and childish (reference was made to being forced to watch disabled people dribble in restaurants) and it was just a bit beyond the pale even for a liberal and open forum like CCN. We decided not to bin the comment only because we have seen the Disability Now website and believe there are elements of its politics which may be open to valid criticism and should perhaps constitute part of further debate – an important and interesting debate which sadly will now be rendered yet more tabu by Cllr Brewers insanely nasty remarks. As always we welcome all views – but we don’t publish people deriding and mocking the disabled per se. Please feel free to indulge in a completely open and honest debate but do be aware there is a crucial if subtle difference between a newspaper being uncensored and not maintaining any standards of decency. The targets of our satire and polemic are hard targets – they’re rich and powerful, or in positions of public trust and/or public employ, or sometimes the undeserving beneficiaries of political patronage, who themselves display bigoted behaviour. We have an obligation to raise questions about our society, and often to take people to task. But being nasty to a person born with disablities so severe that they need the help of charitable citizens or the welfare state to function daily (or as this contributor put it, they dribble) purely on the grounds of their disability is just not on.If you have a point about Cornwall’s Disability Campaigners, and how they spend their money, we will be happy to publish it Glen. But this is not a forum for childishness or cruelty. Thanks.

  7. Jane Callaghan

    February 27, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Please note that he has apologised only for the ‘offence caused’. He has not apologised for saying what he said. He needs to do so.

  8. Steve Bawden

    February 27, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    As this originally took place in October 2011 and has now come to the public forum, this idiot of public service only apologised for “offence caused”. Not good enough, he should be sacked if he refuses to resign.

  9. Eric Dondero

    February 27, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    I’m amazed it took him 18 months to get round to apologising. What a disgraceful man, he should quit immediately.
    This article sums it up nicely:

  10. Jon Hayworth

    February 27, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Jane and others please note the apology was made, not of Cllr Brewer’s own free will, but because he was ordered to do so by the Standards Committee after they had investigated the complaint. In other words it was complying with an order.
    In my opinion, any discriminatory act is of equal offence. If he had the same thing about an ethnic group – or used the “N” word the police would have been there to interview him like a rash, why have the police not been so fast off the mark when it is Disability Discrimination?
    I do hope in May the good people in North Cornwall decide not to vote for this man – maybe someone will stand against him and the result will be a metaphorical good kicking!

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  12. Downs Side Up

    February 28, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    My open letter and olive branch to Cllr Brewer.

  13. dave

    March 3, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    I wonder how far his “euthanasia for the disabled” angle would go if he were seriously injured and disabled. He obviously already has a brain injury.

    This comment was edited. We don’t promote either capital punishment or murder

  14. dave

    March 4, 2013 at 12:48 am

    Glen: I hope you end up either becoming disabled yourself or having to deal with a disabled family member. It will serve you more than rightly, you cruel, sadistic piece of human garbage.

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