A South Kesteven District Councillor who likened the Canadian Prime Minister to Adolf Hitler, and was suspended for a racist retweet, has resigned from his post.
Dr Peter Moseley, Conservative Councillor for Aveland Ward in South Kesteven since 2014, came under fire at the beginning of 2022 after taking to his personal Twitter account to post controversial views on proposed vaccine mandates across the world, namely in Canada.
He accused Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of “going all Hitler on the population” with the introduction of vaccine mandates, saying he is “holding an entire country hostage.”
Moseley also claimed the UK government were “bullying schoolchildren” over proposed vaccinations for young people, views which landed him in very hot water among councillors and residents alike.
He has insisted that he is not an ‘anti-vaxxer’, but instead believes “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.”
He did not respond to the Local Democracy Reporting Service when asked for comment, but again took to Twitter to express his views and explain himself.
Dr Moseley said he “couldn’t care less” about concerns that were expressed at his tweets, and just days after the outburst he was again in trouble for divisive social media views.
He retweeted a deeply offensive mock post about British Citizenship application, with just one question on the picture being “do you like bacon?”
People of Muslim and Jewish faith do not eat pork, prompting many to suggest that the tweet was a direct character assassination of British Muslims and Jewish people.
This prompted Moseley to be suspended from both the Conservative party and the South Kesteven Conservative Group, pending investigation, while he was listed as an independent councillor on the SKDC website for a brief time.
He has now resigned as a councillor, but continues to stand by what he said, stating: “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.”
Despite insisting that he does not apologise for what he says, it would appear that ex-BNP member Moseley has deactivated his Twitter account in light of the controversy and resignation.
In Dr Moseley’s resignation letter, 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.
“I do not support the direction of the current political leadership, and I have grave reservations about the performance of the current Chief Executive.”
A spokesperson for South Kesteven District Council said: “We can confirm that Peter Moseley has resigned as a Councillor of South Kesteven District Council and would like to thank him for his service as both the Aveland ward councillor and as a former Cabinet Member.
“This will create a vacancy in the ward which will be publicised in due course as part of the normal democratic process.
“The views expressed by Peter Moseley on his personal Twitter account and in his letter of resignation are his own.”
Councillor Kelham Cooke, Leader of South Kesteven District Council 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, Councillor Kelham Cooke, Leader of South Kesteven District Council, and Councillor Paul Wood, Leader of the Opposition said: “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.”