Brewer told a charity worker for Disability Cornwall that disabled children should be “put down” because they cost the government too much money.

Brewer has since apologised for the comment. In his resignation, he acknowledged that he would likely not be a candidate in the May elections.

Steve Paget, the chairman of Disability Cornwall, said: “Finally he’s seen sense and resigned.” He added:

“I’m publicly calling on the council to provide disability equality training for all councillors. I’m appalled it has taken this long to reach a conclusion.”

When Brewer’s comment came to light in a report by the council’s standards committee, the councillor was expelled from the Independent Group, of which he was a representative.

“If I was in his position, I would resign,” said John Wood, the leader of the Independent Group.

Social media also played a part in Brewer’s resignation. A Facebook page called “Cornwall Councillor Collin Brewer should resign” attracted 3,692 supporters.

Mr Brewer said: “It’s very painful. I didn’t sleep last night. I’m not eating. I think it will live with me. It’s continual regret.”