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Mayor of Swindon resigns over 'mongol sex' remark

The mayor of Swindon has resigned after coming under attack for referring to disabled people as "mongols".

Conservative councillor Nick Martin was reprimanded last week after Labour councillors at a training meeting reported him saying: "Are we still letting mongols have sex with each other?"

The mayor made a public apology on BBC Wiltshire on Friday, but today he said it was "best for the people of Swindon" that he stand down from the prestigious post.

Nick Martin said he was trying to ask a valid question about disability issues. Credit: Swindon Borough Council

"Following the accusations against me, I have accepted the findings, I have made new apologies. However, it is clear that this will not stop the attacks on the Office and person of Mayor," Martin wrote in a letter to a Swindon Borough Council director.

The councillor, who was criticised by disability charity Scope over the remarks, previously explained that he made the comments in at attempt to learn more about the sex lives of people with Down's syndrome.

"I was trying to understand whether we assist those people to procreate. I happened to use an old-fashioned word. I'm over 60 and I made a mistake," Martin told ITV News yesterday.

Read: Mayor was 'trying to understand' disabled sex lives


Honda job losses are 'a wake-up call for Government'

Unite described the expected loss of 340 jobs at a Honda plant in Swindon as "a devastating blow" and said that the fact people do not "have the cash to spend" should cause the Government serious concern.

These job losses are a devastating blow, not just for these workers but for the thousands more across the industry whose work is dependent on the Honda plant.

Today's losses are also a wake-up call to the UK government.

The economy is far too fragile to proclaim a recovery - those workers losing their jobs today will find claims that the country is turning a corner an insult.

The truth is that there is simply no pick up in the incomes of Honda's customers, either here or in the eurozone.

– Tony Murphy, national officer of the Unite union


Swindon's 'Renault building' given Grade II status

The Spectrum building in Swindon has distinctive yellow "umbrella masts". Credit: Flickr/arkhitekton under Creative Commons

The Spectrum building, formally the Renault Distribution Centre, in Swindon, was designed by Sir Norman Foster and features yellow steel "umbrella masts" and a yellow roof around the single-storey glass-walled warehouse.

Built in 1980, the building featured as the backdrop to scenes in the 1984 James Bond film, A View to a Kill. It has been given Grade II listing.

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Police escort family to scene of Swindon car crash

The family of one of the teenage victims killed in a car crash in Swindon yesterday has been taken by police officers to the scene of the tragedy.

The grey Renault Clio is removed from the scene on the A419 near Swindon. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

18-year-old Shaya Rae Leigh was killed after the car they were travelling in plunged into undergrowth at the side of a road in Swindon, police said. Her family today laid floral tributes at the spot.

Inspector Paul Longden from Wiltshire Police escorted the relatives. He said: “We have appointed family liaison officers to help the families through this terrible time and Shaya’s family asked their officer if they could go to the place where the car left the road.

"The family spent about 25 minutes at the scene”.

Police have appealed to the public not to attempt to stop on the A419 because of the risk of a serious accident on the busy dual carriageway.

Swindon passengers in critical and stable conditions

Two 20-year-old men taken to a Bristol hospital after a car crash that left two teenage girls dead remain in critical condition, Wiltshire Police said:


Condition update on A419 casualties: The two 20-year-old men taken to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol remain in a...

Another 20-year-old male passenger, who was taken to a hospital in Swindon, is in a stable condition, the force said.

The teens killed in the crash have been named as Kerry Staniford, 17, and Shaya Rae Leigh, 18.

Police warn against visiting scene of Swindon road crash

The section of the A419 near Swindon where the car left the road
The section of the A419 near Swindon where the car left the road Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Friends and relatives of the two women who were killed when their car left the road in Swindon have been warned by police to avoid leaving flowers at the crash scene for their own safety.

"We have had one or two people pulling up at the scene to pay their respects," a police spokesman said.

Read: Wiltshire police names women killed in Swindon crash

The grey Renault Clio is removed from the scene on the A419 near Swindon
The grey Renault Clio is removed from the scene on the A419 near Swindon Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

"This stretch of road is a clearway with traffic travelling at speeds of up to 70mph.

"Anyone who attempts to stop, no matter how briefly, could be putting themselves and others at risk of serious injury.

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