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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 March 2008, 21:10 GMT
'Extreme' blog councillor resigns
The blog claimed there should be compulsory sterilisation
A Medway councillor has resigned after claiming on his website that there should be compulsory sterilisation for parents on benefits.

John Ward prompted comparisons with the Nazis after attacking what he called "professional spongers" whom he claimed "breed for greed".

The Tory councillor, who lives in Chatham, told BBC South East Today the views were not his own.

He lifted them from other sites, and has since deleted the page, he added.

When asked if he supported the concept of sterilisation, Mr Ward said: "No.

"I'd hope that before it became such a big problem that the nanny state does impose something like that the way they tend to do, with compulsory ID cards, compulsory whatever."

'Extreme and unpleasant'

The sentences from Mr Ward's blog said: "I think there is an increasingly strong case for compulsory sterilisation of all those who have a second, (or third, or whatever) child while living off state handouts."

On Tuesday, he said he had lifted the words from other websites to promote debate, and had been interrupted before he had had a chance to make that clear on the web page he then published.

Adding that he had resigned, he said he felt "delighted", with a "weight lifted from his shoulders".

But councillor Bill Esterson, from Medway's Labour group, said: "It had nothing to with the benefits culture issue.

"It had everything to do with some extreme and very unpleasant views about forced sterilisation of people - the sort of thing that happens in totalitarian regimes, that happened in Nazi Germany."

Political blogger Iain Dale said: "The problem is if you're writing a blog and you get angry about something, you're anger transmits itself from your brain through your fingertips on to the keyboard and on to the internet.

"Ten minutes later, you might think 'maybe I've gone a bit over the top there', but it's too late.

"You can amend what you've written, but it's already out there and someone, somewhere, will have found it."

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