‘It is easy to dismiss the comments made by UKIP Councillor Gordon Gillick, that children in care are ‘takers from the system’ as the ignorant views of someone with no knowledge or understanding of the care system. However the comments, made to a group of young people sharing their experiences of care to local councillors, were made by a democratically elected representative and cannot be ignored.
What is particularly concerning is the lack of condemnation from Cllr Gillick’s own party. The Cambridgeshire Group UKIP leader, Cllr Peter Reeve simply said, ‘As long as he’s being honest and transparent and saying what he believes, I’ve no problem with that.’
Children are in care through no fault of their own. They overcome separation from their families, often involving abuse or neglect and then move into adulthood with no support form birth families. Faced with this, it is unsurprising that they often struggle. However, we know that given the right support, care leaver’s can achieve highly. The achievements of many are inspiring.
If UKIP want to be taken seriously as a political party they need to understand this. Crass offensive comments by individual members can not be overlooked. Party leader Nigel Farage needs to make his parties’ position on the care system, and on Cllrs Gillick’s comments, clear. Unless he does so, voters can only assume that the ignorance and stupidity shown by Cllr Gillick reflects views held more widely by party colleagues. As for Cllr Gillick, he should either accept the inappropriate and incorrect nature of his comments and apologise, or he should resign.’
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