Conservative run Peterborough City Council faced a second blow today when Cllr Saqib Farooq joined his father Mohammed in quitting the Conservative group.
Saqib quit after being “appalled at the treatment my father (Cllr Mohammed Farooq) has endured over the past two years”.
Cllr Saqib Farooq (Glinton and Castor ward) said: “Regardless of the fact he is my father, this councillor has been subjected to consistent bullying over a long period and I have seen the toll it has taken on his health.
“As a fellow councillor, I saw first-hand the bullying and harassment directed at my father despite his tenacity and commitment to continue out of loyalty to the wider Conservative Party.
“It was a family decision to pull him out of harm’s way.”
Saqib said: “My own decision to step away was not taken lightly.
This isn't just a Conservative problem. This is a council problem and therefore it is a Peterborough problem. I've been through hell over the past 18 months and I too have been made very ill by it. I'm very sad this is happening to so many people regardless of political colours. https://t.co/Gj3BAjSIjj
— Cllr Julie Stevenson (@CllrJulieS) June 7, 2023
“As a resident of Glinton and Castor ward, I have very much enjoyed my two years as local councillor helping villagers with various problems and becoming involved in various community activities.
“It had been my intention to seek re-election next May and while I realise this may not now be possible under the Conservative banner, I cannot remain in a group where a toxic atmosphere is harmful to us all.”
Since being elected in 2021, Cllr Farooq has served as a member of the council, on two committees… children and education scrutiny committee and adult and social care.
This is a deeply troubling story. My first thoughts are with Cllr Farooq. No-one should have to put up with bullying. He describes a toxic culture. One that should not be anywhere near work or a public institution https://t.co/ZNQ4szxjGg
— Andrew Pakes (@andrewpakes_) June 7, 2023
Saqib was one of three Young Conservatives in the NW Cambridgeshire Conservative Association who won a seat in the city council election in May 2021, succeeding long-serving ward councillor John Holdich.
He represents the rural ward in which he lives, encompassing nine villages… Glinton, Castor, Ailsworth, Etton, Northborough, Maxey, Marholm, Deeping Gate and part of Peakirk.
Saqib said his background in the NHS provided him with “added insight” as a member of the city council adult and health scrutiny committee.
First interview with @Cllrfitzgerald
after the meeting of @PeterboroughCC – he's now about to do second interview with @BBCCambs at around 9.10am with @dottymcl #Peterborough #Cambridgeshire https://t.co/6BXDmbnQEN
— John Elworthy (@johnelworthy) May 23, 2023
His resignation is another blow to council leader Wayne Fitzgerald who has been hit by a growing number of Conservative councillors quitting the Conservative group on the city council.
A vote of confidence is expected in coming weeks.
Can you help us?
While you’re here, we are asking, for the first time, for readers to support us financially by taking out a modest subscription.
£2, or £3 or even £5 will help us achieve our goals. It will mean the second year of CambsNews will be livelier, healthier, and much better placed to cover the important issues affecting our everyday lives.
Your subscription simply means we can provide and expand our news FREE to all readers (Read More)