New Tory vice-chair Ben Bradley suggested unemployed should have vasectomies
A Conservative MP tasked by Theresa May with reconnecting the party with young people once called for the unemployed to have vasectomies to stop them having children.
Ben Bradley - named one of 13 vice-chairs of the party during last week's Cabinet reshuffle - said the UK would be "drowning in a vast sea of unemployed wasters" unless those out of work limited the number of children they produce.
He made the comments in a 2012 blogpost which was today uncovered by BuzzFeed News.
In it, the Mansfield MP said: "It’s horrendous that there are families out there that can make vastly more than the average wage, (or in some cases more than a bloody good wage) just because they have 10 kids. Sorry but how many children you have is a choice; if you can’t afford them, stop having them! Vasectomies are free.
"There are hundreds of families in the UK who earn over £60,000 in benefits without lifting a finger because they have so many kids (and for the rest of us that’s a wage of over £90,000 before tax!)."
The blogpost - which Mr Bradley deleted after being contacted by Buzzfeed - was written in support of the Government's cap on benefits payments.
It goes on: "People have to take responsibility for their own lives, and if they are struggling but working hard to help themselves then they should get help. But if they choose to have 10 kids they should take responsibility for that choice and look after them, not expect everyone else to foot the bill!
"Families who have never worked a day in their lives having 4 or 5 kids and the rest of us having 1 or 2 means it's not long before we’re drowning in a vast sea of unemployed wasters that we pay to keep! Iain Duncan Smith’s cap proposal is spot on!"
Mr Bradley, 28, said: "I apologise for these posts. My time in politics has allowed me to mature and I now realise that this language is not appropriate."
Labour frontbencher Cat Smith said: "These repulsive comments expose the Tories’ disgraceful attitude to unemployed people. That they come from a man Theresa May chose as a vice-chair of her party speaks volumes. The nasty party is alive and well."
Writing for PoliticsHome last month, Ben Bradley said the Conservatives need to change their "wooden" and "robotic" brand.
He said: "From a personal perspective I think it’s a terrible situation that an aspirational, hard-working 30-something looking to raise a family, build a career and do well could ever not be a Conservative.
"In my mind that’s what we as a party are all about; the party of opportunity and of aspiration.
"The fact that so many working people didn’t vote Conservative shows just how bad we are at ‘selling’ not just our policies, but our values."