Dr Peter Moseley resigns from South Kesteven District Council over 'inappropriate' tweets
A councillor who compared the Canadian Prime Minister to Hitler has resigned.
Peter Moseley upset several fellow members of South Kesteven District Council by using Twitter to criticise covid policies in Canada and the UK.
As well as saying Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was 'going all Hitler' on the Canadian population, he called the UK Government's pandemic restrictions a 'tool for evil'.
Last week he also retweeted a parody of an application for British citizenship which could be deemed to be offensive.
The actions on social media led to his suspension from the Conservative Party last week. This week Dr Moseley deleted his Twitter account.
He has now resigned from representing Aveland Ward on South Kesteven District Council, which includes the villages of Aslackby, Rippingale and Pointon.
In a statement about his resignation, Dr Moseley said: “I make no apology for my comments. I have received literally hundreds of emails of support from around the world.
"The offended councillors have made the issue much bigger than it needs be for their own political reasons.
“I have Canadian friends who are in desperate conditions at the moment at the hands of a government that should be progressive but is proving otherwise, and it is evident that I am unable to speak out freely and strongly to what I see, hear and experience while remaining a councillor.”
Dr Moseley explained that he had written recently to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressing his concerns about the introduction of ‘vaccine passports’.
In the letter he said that vaccination 'should always be a choice', and the enjoyment of the freedoms of a democratic society should "never be determined by a state administration dictating what chemical you should have injected into you before being allowed that enjoyment".
The letter had also told Mr Johnson: "If people are choosing not to be vaccinated, it is because your message has not been clear enough, and the trust in your message is insufficient. People’s freedoms should not be curtailed or defined by your failings.”
Dr Moseley, who was given the title 'Councillor of the Year' at the 2021 Green Flag Awards in recognition of his contribution to the South Kesteven District Council’s public parks and green spaces, has sent a resignation letter to the council.
In it he said: “My allegiance to my friends, family and colleagues far outweighs any I have to the local council and councillors, and so it is better for me to cut those ties.
"This will enable me to continue to lobby for what I think is right, protecting every individual’s right to choose whether they receive a vaccination, without having the council’s business distracted.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed the contribution I have made to the district, but as they say, 24 hours is a lifetime in politics, and I am, and have been ready for a different lifetime for a couple of years now."
He added that he does not support the direction of the current political leadership.
In October Dr Moseley stepped down from South Kesteven District Council's cabinet, citing his differences over a decision taken in his absence earlier in the year.
A spokesman for the council thanked Dr Moseley him for his service as both the Aveland ward councillor and as a former cabinet member, and said the ward vacancy will be publicised soon as part of the normal democratic process.
He added: “The views expressed by Peter Moseley on his personal Twitter account and in his letter of resignation are his own.”
Leader of South Kesteven District Council Kelham Cooke (Con) said: “I am not surprised to hear of the resignation of Peter Moseley, who has been a councillor for South Kesteven since 2014.
"Peter was an active member of the cabinet, representing the council on the Lincolnshire Waste Partnership and had a critical role with developing the parks and open spaces across the district.
"Clearly, his recent public comments and social media activity led to his suspension as a member of the Conservative Group.
"Peter’s resignation today, through the press, brings an end to his role as a councillor representing South Kesteven. I wish to thank him for his contribution over this time and wish him well for the future.”
In a joint statement, Coun Cooke and Coun Paul Wood (Ind), leader of the opposition, added: “Since the chief executive’s unanimous appointment in 2020, South Kesteven has undergone a significant period of change, transformation and service improvement.
“Our response to Covid-19 has been exemplary in supporting residents, businesses and communities across the district.
"Our council continues to go from strength to strength with a clear corporate plan and in meeting our challenging priorities.
"We are both extremely disappointed with Peter Moseley’s comments which we absolutely refute.
"Our chief executive has shown excellent leadership of the council and has our full support.”