Gravesend UKIP candidate Geoffrey Clark suspended after calling for forced abortion of disabled people
by political editor Paul Francis
A UKIP candidate standing in a Kent County Council by-election
has been suspended after claiming mothers with babies detected to
have Down's syndrome or other disabilities should have compulsory
The party said Geoffrey Clark would not be a UKIP councillor if
However, it is too late for him to be barred from this week's
by-election as his name is already on the ballot paper.
Mr Clark is contesting a county council division in
Gravesend this week and is also a candidate in the by-election for
the Meopham North seat on Gravesham council.
But his comments, made in a personal statement on his website,
have sparked outrage and been condemned by charities.
Mr Clark said his ideas are suggestions to curb spending on
the NHS and are not official UKIP party policy.
He also argues for a referendum on legalising euthanasia and
compulsory advice on euthanasia for those over the age of 80.
Disability charity Mencap's chief executive Mark Goldring said
"disgusted and shocked" at the manifesto.
"Mencap is disgusted and horrified by the manifesto of Kent
County Council UKIP candidate Geoffrey Clark, who has proposed the
compulsory abortion of any foetus with Down's syndrome or Spina
"It is abhorrent that he sees disabled people solely as a burden..." – Mencap chief executive Mark Goldring
"Much has been written about the Paralympics this summer
towards disabled people for the better.
"Yet in the very same year, a council candidate has proposed
forced eugenics against disabled people.
"It is abhorrent that he sees disabled people solely as a
burden, when people with a learning disability lead full lives, and
make valuable contributions to their communities and families. We
question if he is fit for public office."
In his statement, Mr Clark - one of four candidates in the
Gravesham Rural by-election - writes that ways must be found
to curb spending on the NHS.
"If the NHS in the future is rendered unaffordable, what shall
"It's no good saying we must cut the national debt, and then
keep increasing expenditure, as we are doing. The review might also
include: legalising euthanasia and giving free euthanasia advice to
all folk over 80 years of age, and indeed to all others."
He goes on
to advocate that in any review, the NHS should consider "compulsory
abortion when the foetus is detected as having Down's, Spina
Bifida or similar syndrome which, if it is born, could render the
a burden on the state as well as on the family."
Mr Clark could not be contacted, but is reported to have
defended his comments, saying he was tired of the NHS saying it
should cut managers.
UKIP distanced itself from Mr Clark and said it had instigated
disciplinary procedures against him.
A spokesman said he could not be barred from this week's
by-election as his name was already on the ballot paper.
"We are as shocked as everybody else is. He will not be standing
for us again and we have started disciplinary procedures. We have
already apologized to Mencap. These views are not the party's
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