(LONDON) — A British councilman has apologized for saying “disabled children cost the council too much money and should be put down,” the BBC reported.
Collin Brewer, an independent member of Cornwall Council, said he was trying to “provoke a reaction” when he made the comments to a member of Disability Cornwall, an advocacy group for disabled people. The charity complained, and Brewer was ordered to make a formal apology.
“I am writing to offer my wholehearted apology for the offence these remarks have clearly caused,” he wrote in a letter, according to the BBC. “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.”
Roughly 6 percent of children in the U.K. have some form of disability, according to the UK Office for Disability Issues.
Brewer said he was “hot under the collar” when he made the comment after a morning meeting about budget and job cuts.
“I didn’t mean it. I did it to provoke a response and debate the issue of service costs provision,” he said. “It backfired.”
Members of Disability Cornwall were horrified by the comment.
“It is of great concern to us that anyone with such beliefs, let alone to [vocalize] them, could be a representative and elected member of our local authority,” Disability Cornwall chair Steve Paget said in a statement. “For such a serious issue and multiple breaches of [the] code of conduct, bringing the council into disrepute, we did expect no less than this [councilor’s] resignation be called for.”
The leader of Cornwall Council’s independent group informed Brewer he was “no longer a member” and is now a “stand-alone independent,” the BBC reported, but Brewer has not been asked to step down from his post as councilor.
Brewer insists he meant no offense. ”I would defend disabled children to the last,” he said.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Claire Moran, CNN
Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
Euan McKirdy, Bryony Jones and Barry Neild, CNN