Ex-Tory councillor won’t apologise for saying ‘if you can’t feed, don’t breed’

A former Conservative Party councillor has said he will not apologise after replying to a union email about school meals with the phrase “if you can’t feed, don’t breed”.


Roger Taylor, now an independent councillor on Calderdale Council in West Yorkshire, sent the reply to a newsletter from the public services union Unison, which contained a request to help save the school meals service.

Mr Taylor – expelled from the Tory party last year following an Islamophobia investigation – said he believed it was up to parents to feed their children during the holidays.

“Many of these so-called impoverished children have smart phones,” the councillor claimed.

Unison, which had referenced the recent campaign by Manchester United star Marcus Rashford to tackle child food poverty, said it was “beyond belief that someone could show so little compassion”.

The union’s 10 December email contained a letter to councillors asking for their help to stop the school meals service from becoming a “casualty of the pandemic,” which they said had led to cuts to the service, staff numbers, pay and hours of work.

The letter added: “It is good news that the government finally agreed to fund free school meals holiday provision over the Christmas holiday period, and we pay tribute to Marcus Rashford for his determination. But this is not the only area where school meals are under pressure – provision of hot meals for pupils during term-time in schools is suffering too.”

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In his response on 18 December, Mr Taylor said: “If you can’t feed, don’t breed. Simples.”

Speaking to the Press Association, the councillor said: “I’m not going to apologise for it. What I said is what I said. That’s my opinion, I’m entitled to say it.”

Mr Taylor, who represents the Northowram and Shelf wards in Halifax, continued: “Many of these so-called impoverished children have smart phones and we expect the taxpayers to dip into their pockets to feed them. Where does it end? I don’t mind free school meals when they’re at school, that’s fine. I just think enough’s enough.”

Jon Richards, Unison head of local government, said: “Children all over the country are going hungry because of the pandemic. Low-income families need support, not abuse from those who should know better.

“It’s hard to fathom how a politician would think this is an appropriate way to react when asked to help children living in abject poverty.”

Mr Taylor was suspended by the Conservatives in November 2019 following an investigation into Islamophobia. The Halifax Conservatives said he was expelled from the party last December.

He had been named in a dossier sent to the party and obtained by The Guardian which contained details of unacceptable material shared or posted on social media by 25 current and former Tory councillors.

6 thoughts on “Ex-Tory councillor won’t apologise for saying ‘if you can’t feed, don’t breed’

  1. Hmmm … looks like Roger Laurence Taylor’s bluster didn’t last long. Is it only me who wonders if he is using Trump as inspiration for his denials?


    • ROGER – Well, clearly your “hard times” were simply not quite as “hard” as other peoples are.

      Just because your hard times were not so bad that you couldn’t feed your children doesn’t mean that other people’s aren’t?

      So just how bad were your hard times?

      Were you homeless and living rough on the streets for example? No? Well according to charity Shelter, a year ago there were 280,000 homeless people, of whom over 4,000 (considered a significant under estimate) were living on the streets (thanks in a large part to Tory Party austerity attacks on the least well off). Clearly your “hard times” weren’t so “hard” after all.

      Did you ever have to use a foodbank because you couldn’t afford basic food? No? Well at the moment foodbanks are giving out almost 2.5m food parcels a year (each with several days’ food) i.e. an average of at least 25,000 people. Clearly your “hard times” weren’t so hard after all.

      All you demonstrate by what was reported in the newspaper and what you have literally just said in the comment above is that you are lacking in empathy / sympathy / imagination / willingness to research before opening your mouth.



  2. Leaving aside the predictable bigotry, has he never heard of people’s circumstances changing. Or perhaps he is overdue for a conversation with his prime minister about planned families.


    • If you want to call me a bigot do it to my face! I have lived through tough times and I don’t need lectures from the Guardianistas either! You breed, then you feed.


    • ROGER – Personally I have never met you or heard you speak, so I am not in a position to make a personal judgement about whether you are a bigot or not, and so not in any position to call you “a bigot to your face”. HOWEVER, the article effectively says that your own Conservative Party branded you a racist bigot before expelling you for that reason.

      Are you saying that the Independent has libelled you when they stated this (in which case please provide details of the libel case you are bringing)?


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