Solihull Councillor suspended from Conservatives over autism comments - The Solihull Observer
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9th Aug, 2022

Solihull Councillor suspended from Conservatives over autism comments

Sarah Mason 6th Oct, 2021

A SOLIHULL Councillor has been suspended from the Conservatives after she made comments suggesting parents were partly to blame for autism.

Councillor Angela Sandison told the children’s, education and skills scrutiny committee meeting some mothers should be encouraged not to spend much time on their phones.

She made the comments while highlighting high rates of autism in the area, which are almost double the regional and national average by the time children reached secondary school.

During the meeting, other councillors hit out at Coun Sandison’s, with one saying “autism is not a failure of parenting”, while the chair said the condition was “very real”.

The St Alphege ward councillor apologised and resigned from the committee.

She said: “In no way is autism due to bad parenting.

“Autism is real and I in no way meant to blame parents.”

Solihull Council said it had received 15 complaints following Coun Sandison’s comments.

Coun Ian Courts, leader of Solihull Council, confirmed Coun Sandison has been suspended from the Conservative Group pending the outcome of the Code of Conduct Inquiry.

He also said he would work with parents and carers to allow “further learning for all elected members on all aspects of working and living with children and young people with special needs”.

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