John Fenty: North East Lincolnshire Council deputy leader resigns

Image caption,
John Fenty is the majority shareholder at Grimsby Town

A deputy council leader has resigned after his business dealings with a convicted fraudster were revealed.

John Fenty, who is also Grimsby Town's majority shareholder, set up a company with Alex May in April and has invited him to several matches.

Mr May, formerly known as Alick Kapikanya, was jailed in 2014 for his part in a £3.5m mortgage fraud.

Mr Fenty has stood down from his role at North East Lincolnshire Council to "avoid an unwarranted distraction".

Mr May was spotted at the Mariners' match against Mansfield at Blundell Park on Saturday, and pictured sitting in the directors' box.

After his attendance at the fixture was reported by the Grimsby Telegraph it emerged Mr May and Mr Fenty had set up a property development company called Town Centre Living earlier this year.

Mr May, who has since resigned from the company, said he had also been introduced to other councillors to discuss regeneration projects in the town.

Image source, Grimsby Telegraph
Image caption,
Alex May attended Grimsby's match against Mansfield on Saturday

In a statement Mr Fenty, who is also resigning as cabinet member for regeneration, skills and housing, said: "After reflecting on recent media reports and the impact on both my party and the council itself, I have taken the decision in the best interests of all concerned and to avoid an unwarranted distraction to the enormous progress being made in the borough.

"My decision will allow me to focus more on my other business activities and the football club I'm passionate about."

He said he would continue to serve as a Conservative councillor for the Humberston and New Waltham ward.

Mr May told BBC Radio Humberside he had met Mr Fenty two years ago while involved in a possible takeover of Grimsby Town and had visited Blundell Park three times in recent weeks.

He said he currently had "no intention of acquiring the club" but had hoped to buy "a small number of shares" in the League Two side.

He said: "My interest in the club was purely to help the club where it needed financial assistance.

"I was going to introduce investment in to the club and perhaps help with the relocation."

In a statement issued on Monday night Grimsby Town chairman Philip Day said Mr May had wanted to buy £1m worth of shares but his approach had been rejected.

Council leader Philip Jackson thanked Mr Fenty for his work with the authority, adding: "I respect and understand his decision."

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