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26 March 2008
A Tory councillor has resigned after calling for claimants who have more than two children to be forcibly sterilised.

John Ward, 58, a conservative member of Medway council in Kent, made the call for compulsory sterilisation of claimants on his blog in the aftermath of the disappearance of Shannon Mattthews. Shannon’s mother has seven children by five different fathers. Councillor Ward wrote that:

"I think there is an increasingly strong case for compulsory sterilisation of all those who have had a second (or third, or whatever) child while living off state handouts.

It would clearly take a lot of social pressures off all concerned, thus protecting the youngsters themselves to some degree, and remove the incentive to 'breed for greed' - i.e. for more public subsidy of their lifestyle (a well-known dodge, worth ever greater amounts to countless thousands of professional spongers).”

Conservative Central Office have condemned the comments, but Mr Ward has not been expelled from the party. He has now resigned as a councillor following suspension from the Conservative group on Medway council.

For many months now sick and disabled claimants have been expressing the view on internet forums that political rhetoric about claimants is beginning to resemble Nazi propaganda. There can be no doubt about that in regard to this latest outburst. It also lends credence to the belief that politicians attacks on disabled claimants have stoked up hatred to a point beyond their ability to control it. Few will be surprised if there is a corresponding increase in the kind of ‘hate crime’ attacks on disabled people like those documented in Disability Now’s Hate Crime Dossier.

Thanks to Penthesilie for spotting this story.