Offended former Kimberley councillor accepts apology

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A former councillor who was referred to by a member of Kimberley Town Council as ‘Eva Braun’ has accepted a public apology.

In an email to his fellow councillors, Andy Cooper referred to Kat Boettge as Hitler’s mistress - sparking calls for his resignation from Kimberley Town Council and Broxtowe Borough Council.

The comment also led to the resignation of yet another town councillor, Janet Pearce, who was appalled by the email.

Although Cllr Cooper had apologised to Ms Boettge privately, he issued a public apology to the Green Party member yesterday afternoon.

In a statement, he said:

“I am writing this letter to express once again my apology for the offence that I have caused you through my thoughtless comment.

“I do recognise your reasons for not accepting my earlier apology as that was a private email and I hope that my more formal written apology, given publicly, will serve to re-enforce the sincerity of my apology to you.

“I recognise that whatever our political disagreements such personal politics does nothing to enhance local democracy or improve life for the people of Kimberley which is something that I think we can agree is the purpose of local democracy.

“I also would like to provide you with reassurance that my political group takes the matter very seriously and the leader has reprimanded me in no uncertain terms for causing offence in the way that I have.

“He also instructed that to ensure that I am fully informed I have been instructed to attend a diversity course.

“I will be doing this very willingly in order to learn from this whole debacle.

“I can also say that I have received a very clear warning as to my future conduct.

“Both I and my political group can reassure you that there will be no repeat of the conduct that has caused you such offence.

“I reiterate my apology for the offence that I have caused.

“As I have said previously I was genuinely saddened that you were not able to accept my earlier apology and I hope that this public apology together with the actions that are being taken will reassure you of the sincerity of my apology.”

Ms Boettge replied this afternoon to say that she was willing to accept Cllr Cooper’s apology.

She said: “After careful consideration of your public apology and labour’s reaction, I accept your apology.

“I believe that you were sincere and realised the gravity of offense caused.

“My concerns regarding KTC remain, and I would still ask you and other town councillors to join us in the upcoming by-election to give the community their democratic say in the matter.”

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