A CHARITY has said it was ‘appalled and deeply saddened’ to learn a councillor had called a party colleague ‘a cripple’.

Pete Handley, a county and district councillor, used the term after a heated disagreement at a West Oxfordshire council meeting.

The West Oxfordshire Conservative Association has suspended his membership after he swore at Alex Postan. He also threatened to ‘come across [a] table and sort [Mr Postan] out.’

Mr Postan suffers from osteoporosis, which weakens bones and makes them more likely to break.

Fizz Thompson, the clinical director of the National Osteoporosis Society, said: “As the only charity acting as the voice of the three million people in the UK affected by the bone disease osteoporosis, we are appalled and deeply saddened by the cruel and hurtful comments directed at councillor Alex Postan.

“Osteoporosis leads to painful and often debilitating fractures which really change people’s lives, and it is truly deplorable that such an insensitive and derogatory term has been used to insult someone whose life has been sadly affected by the condition.”

West Oxfordshire Conservative Association has voted to suspended Mr Handley’s membership for six months.

He is likely to be expelled after he decided to challenge West Oxfordshire District Council’s leader James Mills in May’s local elections.