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New man's plea after he replaces Collin Brewer

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: September 16, 2013

  • Stephen Knightley

Comments (14)

STEPHEN Knightley, the man elected to replace controversial former councillor Collin Brewer, has said it is time to "draw a line" under the issue and for Wadebridge to move forward.

Liberal Democrat Mr Knightley was elected as Cornwall councillor for Wadebridge East ward, winning by just nine votes in a by-election last Thursday.

He fills the gap left by Mr Brewer, who stood down in July for the second time over controversial remarks he made about disabled children.

Opposition candidates said in May they feared the name of Wadebridge had been tarnished because of Mr Brewer's comments but Mr Knightley told the Cornish Guardian it was time to move on.

"I think it is time to draw a line under it," said the 63-year-old, who runs an architecture firm with son Max.

"He made some comments that were inappropriate that I, and many others, didn't agree with.

"It is sad that his time as Cornwall councillor will be forever remembered for those comments and not the good work he did.

"I think it is time to draw a line under it; Collin did some good work as a councillor and needs to be able to walk around this town."

It emerged in February this year that 68-year-old Mr Brewer, then an independent councillor, told a charity worker that disabled children cost the council too much money and "should be put down". He apologised, saying his remarks had been intended to stir up debate but eventually resigned his seat.

However, he then stood as a candidate in the local elections in May, beating Mr Knightley by four votes.

Just weeks after this election he gave an interview to the Disability News Service where he compared disabled children to deformed lambs.

A report from Cornwall Council's monitoring officer found he had breached the councillors' code of conduct and following further pressure he eventually stood down.

Mr Knightley said that he was "delighted" to have won the by-election, beating town mayor Tony Rush by nine votes.

"It comes with a real sense of responsibility; Wadebridge (East) has not had a Cornwall councillor since February. Things haven't been taken forward and it has sort of been neglected."

He said he had expected the vote to be close.

"Tony Rush is the mayor; he has a profile in the town and is well known.

"He was my deputy when I was mayor. This was the fourth election where we have stood against each other; and I am winning 3-1," he joked. "I know Tony well and get on with him. I said in my acceptance speech that all the candidates would have made good councillors." The election turnout was more than 40 per cent.

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  • clivegsd  |  September 18 2013, 12:09PM

    And Bang-Bang Brewer also has a pop at carers ---"People have also said that whilst they have a great sympathy with these [families], there is always the problem when the parents or carers leave this world. What does happen? It is a worry." JP: "They become a burden?" CB: "Yes. Who shoulders the burden after they have looked after them for so many years.--- So he also thinks we carers are shouldering a "burden" rather than carrying out an important role. Brewer also stated there are others on the Council that share his view, NAME these cowardly individuals!

    |   9
  • clivegsd  |  September 18 2013, 10:35AM

    For Cornishbigotandy http://tinyurl.com/p55aen6 Get your head out of your backside for once

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  • clivegsd  |  September 18 2013, 10:34AM

    "How on earth did Cornwall Council take these people seriously?" And "Someone here has an over-vivid imagination." Show that only holocaust deniers are defending the bigot Brewer. Andy mate, you show your ignorance, Hitler did indeed start his campaign by targeting disabled people, go check your history books because you just are basing your defence of a man who wants disabled children killed or aborted around some stupid 'freedom of speech' ideology (*I think all your relatives should be killed because I don't like the colour of their hair) and it's okay to say things that offend others (*all black kids should be put down or aborted) shows your intolerance to people different to yourself (kindly don't come out with the **** that you are disabled, it's easy to claim things online that aren't true, and if you were you would be irate over Brewer's comments as would ANY disabled person. The Council wanted to send Brewer on a course so he could learn how to handle the media, this effectively means hiding what you believe, so how many other Councillors down in disability hating Cornwall are there that share Bang-Bang Brewer's beliefs? As someone that has a wife who has been disabled from birth- one of the people who Brewer thinks shouldn't be alive, I will always fight against the idiots who defend the most vile of human beings. And you can see a good example of those people in these comments

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  • cornishandy  |  September 17 2013, 6:53PM

    How on earth did Cornwall Council take these people seriously?

    |   -14
  • clivegsd  |  September 17 2013, 6:28PM

    Nice to see the usual Cornwall bigots out in force defending Bang-Bang Brewer. He stated that disabled children should be put down or aborted for those of you who don't know what these people are defending. If your child is disabled it has no right being on the planet according to Brewer and his friends in this comment section. There was no collusion by any organisation, these were Brewer's own thoughts on disabled children. The Council wanted to send him on a course to show him how to react to the media, this means how to hide you true feelings. The Council, Brewer and the loonies here are the dregs of humanity. Conishandy is disgracefully defending the disgusting as usual

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  • DipStick  |  September 16 2013, 10:09PM

    @emurfitt: you are clearly not able to understand that I was making two points before. Firstly, that free speech means being able to say what you like even if it offends others. (Obviously others may well say things that offend you!). So, from that standpoint Mr. Brewer could have said what he was reported to have said and that would be the end of it - apart from others arguing with him (note the 'arguing' - NOT hounded out of his job). Secondly, the transcript of a, admittedly, later interview shows him, as I said, to being somewhat lacking in bringing his thoughts out clearly. See ... http://tinyurl.com/k9kzesb ... And please don't bring up 'moral compasses', it reminds me too much of that ignorant PM we had, Flash Gordon, the one who has such a powerful moral compass that he had hardly attended the House of Commons on behalf of his voters since the last election! DA

    |   -6
  • cornishandy  |  September 16 2013, 8:18PM

    Someone here has an over-vivid imagination.

    |   -8
  • emurfitt  |  September 16 2013, 7:33PM

    DipStick: Hitler had the disabled people of Germany exterminated before he started on the ethnic minorities. We have conveniently forgotten those victims. Brewer clearly stated he wanted the same thing done to the same group of people in this country and for the same reason: economics. There is no difference except age. Hitler targeted all age groups of disabled people. Brewer targeted children. Like many in the UK at the present time, you have lost your moral compass.

    |   1
  • DipStick  |  September 16 2013, 6:38PM

    @emurfitt: to be honest I read his words (the transcript is about somewhere) rather than what he had been reported as saying and he just came across as being unable to clearly and succinctly express his views. But what you're saying is that based on what he is "supposed" to have said then he shouldn't have said it but you're quite free to compare him to Hitler? That's not freedom of speech and you just come across as a bigot. And please don't be so arrogant as to assume you can speak for the "Cornish" people, you speak for yourself and yourself alone! DS

    |   -3
  • NigelH  |  September 16 2013, 4:29PM

    Well said Cornishandy - I completely agree! I too am disabled and a constituent of Wadebridge East. Now we have a councillor who I didn't vote for as a representative! Colin Brewer was an excellent representative of our community and a true independent local rather than the party political `person' we now have. The real lesson from this debacle is `trial by media' and the need to hound someone out of office for saying something inadvertently which was taken as not `politically correct' which is a sad day for democracy and even more so for Wadebridge! In reality, someone `inflated' the accusations against Colin beyond reason - I wonder who could have done that?