Tory Councillor Told Apologise or Resign

Fury over comments made about Sir David Attenborough

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Ealing Conservative Councillor, Phil Taylor, has landed himself in hot water after making 'off the cuff' comments about Sir David Attenborough.

The Northfields ward representative used the social network site twitter to suggest the veteran broadcaster ''take a one way trip to Switzerland'' -  a term which has been perceived to mean the 87-year-old presenter commit euthanasia.

His tweet was in response to an article by the broadcaster blaming too many people and not enough land for Africa’s food shortages.

Cllr Taylor tweeted: “I do wish this silly old fart would take a one-way trip to Switzerland. Practice what you preach.''

He has been criticised by Council Leader, Julian Bell, who tweeted:

''You can agree or disagree with Sir David Attenborough but your comments are shocking & disgraceful! Apologise or resign!''

Echoing Councillor Bell, Ealing Southall MP, Virendra Sharma added that “this is conduct unbecoming of an elected official.”

Lib Dem Ealing Leader, Councillor Gary Malcolm, said:

"Phil Taylor's request for David Attenborough to kill himself is both disgraceful and sickening. He should quite simply resign now. These comments are not something we would expect to see from an elected Councillor. He clearly does not have the same sense of judgement as other people.

'' I have not seen an apology from Councillor Taylor and I have written to the Ealing Conservative leader asking him to expel Councillor Phil Taylor."

There has been a huge backlash and the story has been picked up by the Independent newspaper.

We asked Councillor Taylor to comment and he directed us to his blog:

''Today I have created a bit of a storm with a comment I made on Twitter about David Attenborough. It was an off the cuff, ironic comment and I didn’t set out to make anyone miserable. If David Attenborough is unhappy I am sorry. I don’t suppose he expects to comment on such contentious topics as population control and not get a strong response.

''The background to this is that David Attenborough has for many years been a patron of the Optimum Population Trust which now calls itself Population Matters. My tweet reflected my frustration with Attenborough repeatedly using his “national treasure” status to promote a set of views that see people as being a problem. His prescriptions seem always to apply to other people.

''My view of the world is that we have to work out how to make sure that the 9 billion people who will populate the world by 2050 all have a good life. They all have hopes and dreams and don’t need to be told what to do by Attenborough and his organisation.

''I won’t be discussing this incident any more.''


What do you think? Discuss on the forum.


18th September 2013


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