A TORY councillor has said he ‘did not set out to make anyone miserable’ after causing outrage on Twitter by insinuating Sir David Attenborough should commit suicide.
Ealing councillor Phil Taylor tweeted ‘I do wish this silly old fart would take a one-way trip to Switzerland. Practice what you preach,’ this afternoon (September 18) in response to the broadcaster’s comment last night which said that sending food to Africa to solve the famine crisis was ‘barmy’.
Sir David blamed too many people and not enough land for Africa’s food problem.
Mr Taylor defended his comments and said: “Today I have created a bit of a storm with a comment I made on Twitter about David Attenborough. It was an off the cuff, ironic comment and I didn’t set out to make anyone miserable. If David Attenborough is unhappy I am sorry. I don’t suppose he expects to comment on such contentious topics as population control and not get a strong response.”
He added: “The background to this is that David Attenborough has for many years been a patron of the Optimum Population Trust which now calls itself Population Matters. My tweet reflected my frustration with Attenborough repeatedly using his ‘national treasure’ status to promote a set of views that see people as being a problem.
“My view of the world is that we have to work out how to make sure that the nine billion people who will populate the world by 2050 all have a good life. They all have hopes and dreams and don’t need to be told what to do by Attenborough and his organisation.”
Mr Taylor said he will not be discussing this incident any more.
Leader of Ealing Council, Julian Bell, said: “He can agree or disagree with Sir David Attenborough but his comments are shocking and outrageous and he should either apologise or resign. I actually don’t agree with Sir David Attenborough but Phil’s comments are distasteful. David Cameron should take action.”
The Ealing Liberal Democrats Leader, Councillor Gary Malcolm, said: “Phil Taylor’s request for David Attenborough to end his own life is disgraceful. He should quite simply resign now. Ealing was rocked a year ago with similarly offensive comments from another conservative councillor. The Ealing conservative party should apologise for the offence they are causing with their own councillors who do not understand how to use Twitter. I have written to the Ealing Conservative leader asking to expel councillor Phil Taylor.”