Oxford Lord Mayor Susanna Pressel has been found guilty of breaching a councillors’ code of conduct — but has not been suspended.

Ms Pressel was ticked off for her conduct during a dispute over tree felling in Osney Island in 2006 in which she sent an email to a senior council officer and members of the public accusing the unnamed officer of lying and another officer of dishonesty.

Today, Oxford City Council’s standards committee concluded Ms Pressel’s actions were “inappropriate” and had breached of its code of conduct.

However, she has not been suspended from the council and, in effect, that is the end of the matter.

The Jericho and Osney councillor faced a suspension from the authority for three months but the committee, which held its hearing behind closed doors at the Town Hall, decided to censure Ms Pressel by way of a warning instead.

Initially, the complaint was handled by the Standards Board for England — which deals with serious issues and breaches of conduct — but it was referred back to the Town Hall to be dealt with internally.

It emerged the complaint against Ms Pressel’s conduct was made by the city council’s former interim chief executive Brian Dinsdale <<corr>>.

After the hearing, legal officer Jeremy Thomas <<corr>> said: “It is important to Oxford City Council that its councillors maintain high ethical standards.

“All councillors, when they are elected to office, give an undertaking to observe a statutory code of conduct and this is enforced by a standards committee, which is made up of both elected councillors and voluntary independent members.

“This is the first time that the council’s standards committee has had to hold a formal hearing, which itself is a testament to the high ethical standards which councillors adhere to.

“The fact councillor Pressel is the present Lord Mayor has been irrelevant to the issues before the committee.

“The public should take comfort from the fact the maintenance of high standards in public life is pursued notwithstanding the office held by an individual.”