A COUNCILLOR has been accused of taking cheap political shots at the Isle of Wight Council leader over unanswered emails and the 'delayed' release of correspondence.

It follows the release of a response letter from the government to Cllr Lora Peacey-Wilcox over the Island's housing numbers.

After mentioning the correspondence in her report to full council published before last night's (Wednesday) meeting, the Alliance administration were pressured to release the response.

The date of the letter revealed Cllr Peacey-Wilcox had received the letter more than 20 days before publication — something she was also criticised for at the cabinet meeting last week.

At that time, she said she was having trouble with her emails, receiving about 1,000 a week and working through those was not easy.

Addressing the matter in her speech to the council on Wednesday, Cllr Peacey-Wilcox said she was saddened that Tory Cllr Joe Robertson had made an issue about the letter as she was 'desperately trying to care and look after the Island's most vulnerable people'.

"Shame on you for showing no understanding or respect for the compassionate way I undertake my leadership role," she said, adding it was a way of taking 'cheap political shots' at her.

Responding, Cllr Robertson asked what steps were being taken to ensure the hold-up did not happen again and 'letters of key importance to the whole council are not left languishing' in her inbox.

Cllr Robertson said he had emailed Cllr Peacey-Wilcox, on the subject without reply.

Addressing Cllr Robertson, Cllr Peacey-Wilcox said it was perfectly appropriate to have some time to consider the letter before she chose what to do with it.

She added given her workload, this was actually a very fast turnaround and she was trying to be open and transparent by adding key points to her speech.

Cllr Robertson also suggested it was 'no longer sensible' for Cllr Peacey-Wilcox to use her private email address for council business, something she denied.

Cllr Peacey-Wilcox left the meeting during its first break as she was not feeling well and subsequently announced she was stepping back from leadership duties for a time.

Cllr Robertson later asked deputy leader Cllr Ian Stephens whether he agreed Cllr Peacey-Wilcox should be engaged with her emails, to which Cllr Stephens replied it would be inappropriate to talk about but she had 'never dodged a fight in her life'.