Is it illegal for a partner in joint business to get private email?

There's no general prohibition in English law on a partner operating a private email account.

Your question does however raise other questions. Particularly, what is the account being used for?

A partner has fiduciary duties to the other partners.  See:

Also, a partner could be under a contractual duty to disclosure defined categories of information to the other partners.

I suspect that there is more to the situation that your short question communicates.

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