Collin Brewer, an independent Cornwall councillor, said his remarks at an equalities event at County Hall in Truro 18 months ago were designed to “provoke a debate”.
However, the veteran council member has been met with a storm of criticism from disabled people, carers and campaigners – including the former glamour model Katie Price, whose son Harvey is disabled.
Brewer initially refused to resign on Wednesday, saying his comments were “a flippant remark”.
But he has since reconsidered his position. Asked in an interview with BBC Radio Cornwall whether those offended by his comments would be pleased with his decision, Brewer said: “I know they will be. This is my first indiscretion – not that there’s any excuse for that.”
He said he had received messages of support from at least half a dozen councillors who contacted him over his remarks.
“They know this is against my character,” he said.
“I was wrong – I admit it. I will continue to apologise.”