REVEALED: Email sent by Conservative city councillor which led to resignation '˜misunderstanding' a week after local elections
The email sent by a Conservative city councillor which was mistakenly read as a resignation note has been revealed.
A Freedom of Information request by the Peterborough Telegraph has divulged the message sent by Councillor Gul Nawaz to Councillor John Holdich, Peterborough City Council and leader of the council’s Conservative group, a week after both had been re-elected.
A few hours after the email was sent, Cllr Holdich and Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson both told the PT Cllr Nawaz had resigned which would have seen the Conservatives lose their majority.
However, Cllr Holdich later told the PT that he had misunderstood the email, adding: “He did not actually resign. He had emailed me to say he wanted to talk to me about resigning.”
The issue, according to the council leader, was because Cllr Nawaz had believed he was going to be the next Mayor of Peterborough, a position which was instead taken up by Cllr David Sanders due to him being a councillor for more years.
The email sent to Cllr Holdich comes from a blanked out email address. Also copied in are Mr Jackson, Conservative councillor John Peach, and Gillian Beasley, the council’s chief executive.
Titled ‘Resignation from the Conservative Group’, the email reads: “I would like to request a meeting with you as a matter of urgency, I wish to discuss my resignation from the Conservative Group. I look forward to hearing from you.”
Cllr Nawaz, member for Ravesthorpe, first told the PT that he had not decided whether to quit the Tories to become an independent councillor.
Responding to the FOI, he said: “It’s all been settled now and I’m still a Conservative member and have been a Conservative for the last 25 years. And I’m looking forward to the challenges under the strong leadership of Cllr John Holdich.
“I will work closely with him and I think it will go well.”
Cllr Holdich did not wish to respond to the FOI. Speaking last month he said: “I’m absolutely delighted he’s staying as a Conservative. He’s one of the best ward councillors on the council.”