A deputy mayor has sparked outrage by calling for disabled kids to be guillotined to avoid wasting cash on their care. Retired GP Owen Lister made his sick suggestion to fellow councillors as they discussed sending the youngsters to a £3,000-a-week care home.

Mr Lister, 79, told them: “I would guillotine them.” He has now quit as deputy mayor but yesterday stood by his outburst. He said: “I indicated at that point that perhaps the guillotine might be better. These are children you can’t educate. It’s merely a matter of caring for them until they die. The only difference between a terminally ill patient and a severely handicapped child is time.”

The councillor, of Swindon, Wiltshire, argued the funds should instead be used to cut NHS waiting lists. He added: “It shows how peculiar we are as a society on this matter that we spend this vast amount of money caring for disabled youngsters to very little purpose at all.” His remarks came as the borough council’s children’s committee debated putting youngsters in a Cornwall home.