A COUNCILLOR who quit by mistake has been told he cannot withdraw his early-morning resignation email.

Clacton councillor Jack Parsons said he accidentally sent a draft resignation email to Tendring Council’s chief executive Ian Davidson on Sunday morning.

Despite sending a second email just hours later to retract his resignation, Mr Parsons was told it was too late.

The Tendring district councillor was elected as a Ukip councillor in 2016 but jumped ship to Labour before quitting his new party after just five months to become an independent.

In an email to council bosses at 1.47am on Sunday, Mr Parsons, who represents St Paul’s ward, said: “As I am sure you are aware, 2017 has not been kind to me.

“I have committed the most unforgivable sin in my book and I have discredited the absolute fantastic work that this council has done and continues to do.

“I am immensely sorry that my personal demons have affected so many others in such a negative way.

“As a result, it is with great sadness that, after much consideration, I have decided to resign my seat as district councillor effective immediately.”

Mr Parsons emailed again shortly after 3am asking to retract his resignation.

He told the Gazette: “I meant to save a draft of the email so I could mull over it because it was quite a big decision to make, but I sent it by mistake.

“I’m actually glad that it sent – I would have re-sent it anyway. My mental health hasn’t got any better and I need to focus on getting myself better.

“I have been continuing with psychotherapy and medication.

“I think the people of St Paul’s deserve someone fit and able to represent them.

“At the moment I’m not fit and able to carry out that role to the best of my ability.”

Mr Parsons said he has a “love for democracy” and that his proudest moment as a councillor was speaking against plans for more than 130 homes in Sladbury’s Lane.

He said he could stand again for election in 2019 if his mental health improves.

Last year Mr Parsons, of Marine Parade West, Clacton, admitted possessing a bladed article in a public place when he appeared at Colchester Magistrates’ Court.

Speaking to the Gazette after the court hearing, Mr Parsons said he had been suffering from depression and anxiety, and his actions were a cry for help.

He said he was unable to get help from a crisis team and took the knife into the street to escalate the situation.

He insisted he never intended to use the knife on anyone else or himself. He was given a 12-month community order and had to carry out 70 hours of unpaid work.

A Tendring Council spokesman said: “A by-election will be held in due course but no date has yet been set.”