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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 March 2008, 19:57 GMT

Tory suspended in euthanasia row

Councillor Hugh Jackson
Councillor Jackson has apologised for his comment

A councillor has been suspended from the Conservative Party after suggesting euthanasia as a way to cut the cost of caring for vulnerable children.

Hugh Jackson, councillor for Monkseaton North, is also being investigated by North Tyneside Council for the remark he made at a finance meeting.

Mr Jackson has apologised and is reported to have said the comment was "misplaced humour."

The North Tyneside Conservatives said his remark was "totally unacceptable."

BBC News online was unable to contact Mr Jackson.

But a statement from his party said: "North Tyneside Conservatives have moved swiftly and decisively in response to comments made by Councillor Hugh Jackson.

In public life you can't make these statements
Jim Allan, deputy mayor of North Tyneside Council

"While Councillor Jackson has apologised for his comments, made recently at a finance sub-committee, local Conservatives support the decision to report him to the Standards Board.

"Local Conservatives have branded Councillor Jackson's comments as totally unacceptable. They are out of line with the views of the party at large.

"As a result the party in North Tyneside has withdrawn the whip and suspended his membership of the Conservative group and party with immediate effect."

Jim Allan, deputy mayor of North Tyneside Council, called for Mr Jackson to resign.

The Labour councillor said: "Had it been one of ours we would have dealt with him in 24 hours.

"In public life you can't make these statements.

"Whether he says it was humour or whatever, it is something we cannot really, as a human being, tolerate."

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