A Tory politician has been forced to apologise after describing people on benefits as “pond life” that should be “washed and sterilised”.
Cllr David Smith compared benefit claimants to “rotten pond life families”, whilst accusing the Labour Party of a giving a voice to people who “should be sterilised and washed”.
Cllr David Smith, who is just one of three Conservatives on Middlesborough Council, described the benefits system as “heinous” and supported the Government’s controversial cuts to lifeline welfare benefits.
“The heinous benefit system which has lead (sic) to rotten pond life families that should be sterilised and washed”, he said.
But when challenged on his comments, the under fire local Tory attempted to play down his remarks.
“I’m not talking about everyone”, he said.
“There are so many genuine cases. But there is a large portion who are claimants that take the absolute pi**”.
He went on to compare people on benefits as “rabbits”, who “continue to breed”.
He later apologised for his comments.
“I apologise unreservedly for the comments I made”, he said.
“That said welfare dependency is wrong for everyone involved and everyone should have an opportunity to fulfil their talents.”
He added: “I’m proud the Conservatives have introduced a welfare system which has contributed to record employment.”
Middlesbrough Labour Group leader, Cllr Matt Storey, said: “Sadly Cllr Smith’s comments are symptomatic of a Conservative Government who have a total disregard for the poorest in our society.
“The botched roll out of Universal Credit , the cruelty of the bedroom tax and cuts to Child Benefit have seen those people on social security driven into extreme poverty even as many of them are in work.
“I hope Cllr Smith will reflect on the hurt his comments will cause to those people in Coulby Newham who have been affected in this way due to his government.”