South Norfolk Conservatives say they have made “substantial progress” in finding replacement candidates after former county council leader Derrick Murphy and his wife decided not to stand in May’s County Council elections.

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Mr Murphy and his wife, Janet, have pulled out as candidates for the seats of Forehoe and Clavering, respectively.

A standards hearing at Norfolk County Council on Friday found Mr Murphy had breached the county council’s code of conduct when he asked his political assistant to claim it had not been the former leader’s idea to send an email to the BBC.

Mr Murphy was cleared of six other alleged breaches, but, having already stepped down as council leader and chairman and leader of the Conservative group, he decided not to stand at all in May’s elections.

Mr Murphy said he had reached that decision some time ago, but the association said it was advised of the pair’s withdrawal over the weekend.

South Norfolk Conservatives are meeting later this week and had been expected to discuss Mr Murphy’s position, but his departure means that meeting will now focus on finding new candidates.

Forehoe division includes Mulbarton, Swardeston, Newton Flotman, Ketteringham and part of Wymondham, while Clavering takes in places such as Wortwell, Toft Monks and Ditchingham.

Peter Stebbings, chairman of the South Norfolk Conservative Association, said: “As an association our priority will be to put first-class replacement candidates in place well before the official campaign period begins next month. I am pleased to confirm that we have already made substantial progress towards this end. The selection of these new candidates is an internal Conservative Party process and until that process is complete there will be no further public comment.”

Mr Murphy currently represents Freebridge Lynn and Mrs Murphy Nar Ouse and Gayton. But with Mr Murphy having strongly supported the building of an incinerator in King’s Lynn, his chances of victory, had he stood there, were questionable.

His switch to south Norfolk was seen by many as an opportunity to escape that controversy. He was selected to fight for the seat ahead of current incumbent Jon Herbert, who quit the South Norfolk Conservatives as a result and had been planning to run against Mr Murphy as an independent.

When asked if there was a way back for him to stand as a Conservative, Mr Herbert said: “Potentially, but I am happy either way. The support I have had from local residents means I believe there is a strong personal vote for me.

“There is a push for people these days who are more independently minded, but I still believe in the Conservative principles and I am a supporter of [acting council leader] Bill Borrett who I have known personally for some time.”

The South Norfolk Conservatives have until April 4 to get their candidates in place, with the county council elections due to take place on Thursday, May 2.

30 comments

  • Yesterday Man, aka Di.ckens, is a lone voice hitting out at anyone including his ex friends who supported him so well for so long. Bless him!

    Report this comment

    Canary Boy

    Friday, February 8, 2013

  • Maryjane, Electra.. this article isn’t about any break in scandal… The offence was probably trespass anyway, which ceases once you leave the property. From the reports there didn’t seem to be any criminal damage. In any event it isn’t County Council that decide whether or not to bring a criminal prosecution. They would have handed the evidence over to the Police who later would have made that decision. Does anyone really think a prosecution would be in the public interest? Do people really think it worth wasting thousands of pounds on an enquiry? I don’t. Good decision all round.

    Report this comment

    Andy T

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

  • So Murphy lets SNCA know over the weekend and they have already made substantial progress, in less than a day? South Norfolk Candour Association, Norfolk Candour Council, County Candour Borrett et al, the list is endless.

    Report this comment

    Honest John

    Friday, February 8, 2013

  • Messrs Kemp, Stebbings and the others must feel extremely foolish now for offering Derrick Murphy a secure bolt-hole for May, when they had been warned of what was likely to come out of the investigation into his role in Kevingate. Even now, Murphy lets them down by saying that his decision not to stand was made "many, many, many weeks ago" yet Mr Stebbing states that SNCA was only told over the weekend. Frankly, SNCA deserves to lose the Forehoe and Clavering divisions, and if they creep back apologetically to Jon Herbert and Tony Tomkinson, I hope that they are told where to go in the language of Malcolm Tucker.

    Report this comment

    Nemesis

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • john smith: Bacon has rather rashly (...) just kicked up a fuss about pig-rearing standards: we must expect the compulsive attention seeker Truss to follow suit... maybe she will start a campaign against the Shadow chancellor :-)

    Report this comment

    martin wallis

    Friday, February 8, 2013

  • Tom, don't worry, Jon Herbert's conviction for assault has probably not been forgotten by all. Where's Richard Bacon in all this mess? Is he out of touch with this too?

    Report this comment

    john smith

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

  • Surely SNCA would have come out of this better if instead of pretending that the Murphys decided they were not standing some time ago, and singing their praises, they had instead announced they had deselected them! If Jon Herbert now turns his coat and returns to the Conservative group he will lose all credibility, this man was treated like an dirty rag thrown aside for Murphy has he no self respect?

    Report this comment

    Canary Boy

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • Bill Borrett is involved in the email scandal. He was all for the incinerator from the beiging, Bill Borrett is a sales rep for Tory Wheelabrator he treats the people of Norfolk like they are sheep. He has faught alongside his mate Derrick Murphy for years to shove the incinerator on West Norfolk. Independant should stand for the people not the Tory LIARS..

    Report this comment

    Jack

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • If D.ick.en.s thinks the decision to build the incinerator has been taken, then why has Pickles called it in? Perhaps the man has principles. Maybe he isn't just in it for the money. Perhaps he considers people more important than backhanders.

    Report this comment

    Sandy.L

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • Norfolk County Council paid Kevin Vaughan a secret amount of money when he left. So how could Kevin Vaughan have been a credible witness at the standards hearing. How much secret amount of money will Derrick Murphy get? He looks pretty pleased with the outcome in the photo above. Now Derrick Murphy wants to fight NCC for even more money. Or does he want a bigger settlement from NCC? Bill Borrett should also be investigated in the role he played to undermine Nick Daubney. His behaviour has also been disgraceful. You would think that they are sales reps for Tory Wheelabrator. Well someones got to keep the Wheelabrator shareholders happy in America. And Murphy and Borrett sure have tried to do that at the expense of losing the next election.

    Report this comment

    Jack

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

  • Does not Herbert realise that as an Independent his. support for Borrett counts for nothing as he is voted for by the Tory Group. How long has this man been drawing his allowances? Can we please have some councillors with a bit of common .sense. Or maybe I have missed a trick, perhaps he hopes his announcement will guarantee him a seat under Borrett's leadership and a bit money of extra money.

    Report this comment

    maryjane

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • Maryjane Have you seen the videos on YouTube! If you search Maidaclava channel. This answers Jacks observations. Cory Wheelabrator had done similar but robbed the rate payers of £20 million plus county councillor’s expenses and legal fees.

    Report this comment

    Knee deep In Toxic ash

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

  • The best way forward would be for councillors not to be paid at all as is the case with Parish Councils and some Town Councils who work for the community without financial reward. The present system allows Borough and County councillors to receive an ‘allowance’ but the allowances are tax free and often greater than that person could ever hope to earn in full time employment. A councillor is only legally required to turn up to one full council meeting in a six month period. This means in theory a council leader can pick up on average around 40k for 2 appearances a year. That appearance need only be to sign to attendance register which takes 5 minutes. Some councillors (if one cares to check under FOI ) rarely appear and many of their fellow councillors have no idea who they are. Nice little earner. Does not matter who takes over. The decision to build the incinerator has been taken.

    Report this comment

    Dickens

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • john smith: Bacon has rather rasshly (...) just kicked up a fuss about pig-rearing standards: we must expect the compulsive attention seeker Truss to follow suit... maybe she will start a campaign against the Shadow chancellor :-)

    Report this comment

    martin wallis

    Friday, February 8, 2013

  • Jason Law by any chance ??

    Report this comment

    Dickens

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • Elektra, you're completely right about Richard Bacon, he is having nothing to do with this, nor is he having anything to do with virtually anything else that affects his constituency. They don't call him Emperor Nero for nothing, and Rome is certainly ablaze here isn't it!

    Report this comment

    john smith

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

  • Cllr. Herbert do well to remember those who offered to help him when he was dropped for Derrick Murphy. being an Independent is not a conservative default position as it was adopted wholesale by Scotland's Tory's, it is about being available for all and working for the better of Norfolk, not for individual leaders in one or other party which have been seen to ignore their voters.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • only knew at the weekend? Kemp was his political agent!! What a bunch of losers the Tories have in their midst. Herbert does not seem to know who he is!

    Report this comment

    maryjane

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • Why are we being denied the possibility to make comments over the break in scandal at County Hall. The charges were dropped quickly with no explanation.Is this a form of censorship to protect the Legal Department? Who made that decision? The legal officer? Is she in hot water over the Kevingate scandle-what on earth is going on in a so-called public accountability instituion - questions must be asked..

    Report this comment

    maryjane

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

  • Richard Bacon has nothing to do with this bunch of bananas. As I have said before. Look at his election material. Dr C J Kemp, self appointed most wonderful person in the universe is not his agent, never has been. Almost unheard of in Associations that the Agent for the local lot is not the Agent for the MP. Unless of course the local agent is Dr C J Kemp in which case the MP would have to be bonkers to use him as we can see from this debacle. As for Andy Ts assertion that the County Council holds no sway over whether that nice young man with the dog should be prosecuted. You've got a lot to learn about the way Norfolk is run. I still would like to have seen this lot explain themselves in open Court. And BTW they added racially aggravated to the offence so it really should have been heard

    Report this comment

    Electra

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

  • Why has the investigation into the break=in at County Hall been dropped when an intruder and his dog were seen in the offices of NP Law, on the tube Miss McNeill?Sensible answers please!

    Report this comment

    maryjane

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

  • Glorid . ase seems clueless as usual. A call in is to shut up annoying campaigners. Nothing else. If you think some 'outside' force will make a difference then you need new glasses.

    Report this comment

    Dickens

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

  • Best go grovelling to the present incumbents. Good to see the Herb is a man of principle after all, and a fan of Borat. It just gets better!

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • Those in Gayton & Nar Valley have never been properly informed by Janet Murphy that she would no longer seek to represent us and now we learn she will not be standing in Clavering either. What a way to treat the electorate.

    Report this comment

    Alistair Beales

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • I would be surprised if Jon Herbert commanded any sort of local following. Check out some of his antics and you'll see why the local party were prepared to dump him, to give Derrick Murphy a seat. I reckon even he would have beaten Mr Herbert, so a new candidate with less baggage than our dear departed leader should wipe the floor with him.

    Report this comment

    Tom Jeffries

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • Is this the same Mr Herbert who formed a coalition of Independents on South Norfolk District Council with Keith Weekes? And now he is saying that he is happy to crawl back under the South Norfolk Tory stone where the others reside such as Dr C J Kemp who has mismanaged this all the way through. And Mr Tomkinson who said he was insulted at being forced to stand to one side for the formerly anointed ones wife. Is he going to do some crawling to? Or will it be te Tweedledum and Tweedledee of South Norfolk politics Kemp and Stebbings who do the crawling? I think the people of Clavering and Forehoe should kick this lot into touch if they stand. Their attitude is quite clear. The would much rather slither around in the mud than stand up for the people of their districts. Mr Herbert has made a huge error in saying he doesn't care about who he stands for. You are supposed to be standing for the people of Clavering and since they have been treated like dirt by the Tories you should have kept quiet and maintained your Independence. You realise that there will now be an Independent standing against you if you are the Tory boy? With Wymondham, home of the Independents movement in South Norfolk forming part of your district you have an uphill struggle. They booed you at the only meeting you attended for aeons

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • So Murphy lets SNCA know over the weekend and they have already made substantial progress, in less than a day? South Norfolk Candour Association, Norfolk Candour Council, County Candour Borrett et al, the list is endless.

    Report this comment

    Honest John

    Friday, February 8, 2013

  • I would be surprised if Jon Herbert commanded any sort of local following. Check out some of his antics and you'll see why the local party were prepared to dump him, to give Derrick Murphy a seat. I reckon even he would have beaten Mr Herbert, so a new candidate with less baggage than our dear departed leader should wipe the floor with him.

    Report this comment

    Tom Jeffries

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • Agree MaryJane. I was looking forward to a full hearing with every senior manager in County Hall called as a witness. That is probably why they bound him over. I have just realised the headline of this article is South Norfolk makes great progress. Ha ha. South Norfolk Conservatives have been going backwards since Pauline Carver was Chairman at the turn of the Millennium. You should see what rubbish they have had since then.

    Report this comment

    Electra

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

  • Something tells me they will be very unwise to reinstate "I want to resign" Tomkinson to Clavering. Life for him is about to get very much more difficult. And therefore by association for South Norfolk Tories. They are like lemmings, having a driving force to jump off a high cliff in a bunch. Watch for the next leap!

    Report this comment

    Electra

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

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