THE Nick Martin scandal has brought Swindon publicity of a kind it could do without.
The town's outgoing mayor confirmed his resignation today after an enquiry by the standards committee found he had made a derogatory comment in a meeting, saying: “Are we still letting those Mongols have sex with each other?”
The story has now made headlines across the globe.
In Australia, for example, readers of the Perth Now news website were greeted by the headline: “Nick Martin, mayor of UK town of Swindon, calls disabled people ‘mongols’, questions their right to sex life.”
Perth Now is one of several Australian sites to carry the story, which was also picked up in New Zealand and by many online news outlets.
Huffington Post wrote: “The Conservative mayor of Swindon has resigned after he called disabled people ‘Mongols’ and questioned whether they should be allowed to have sex.”
Closer to home, the story made the front page of the BBC’s and ITV’s national news sites.
The BBC headlined its version: “Swindon mayor resigns over disability comment.” ITV opted for: “Mayor forced to apologise for 'mongols' remark says he was just trying to understand disabled sex lives.”
The Independent’s site ran a story headlined: “Swindon mayor says sorry for calling disabled people ‘mongols’ – but charities dismiss forced apology.”
The story quoted Richard Hawkes, chief executive of disability charity Scope, as saying: “Of course he should apologise for using this offensive term. But this isn’t just about political correctness and using the wrong words “Disturbingly, he has insinuated that there is something wrong with disabled people having sex with each other.”