The former leader of Norfolk County Council has announced he and his wife will not be standing for election in May.

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Derrick Murphy, who was found to have breached the council’s code of conduct at a standards hearing last week, had already quit as chairman of the Conservative group and ruled out any attempt to return as leader.

Mr Murphy, who currently represents Freebridge Lynn, had still been due to stand as a councillor in the Forehoe division in May’s county council elections, but announced today that he would not be doing so.

And he said his wife Janet, who represents Gayton and Nar Valley, but had been due to fight for a seat in Clavering, would also not stand.

At a standards hearing on Friday Mr Murphy was cleared of six out of seven alleged breaches of the council’s code of conduct.

The single breach he was found to have committed was for bringing his office into disrepute after he asked his political assistant to claim it had not been Mr Murphy’s idea to send an email to the BBC last April.

Mr Murphy said today: “We made the decision ages ago but have announced it today. We felt that people would be taking pot shots at us and what I want is for the Conservatives to get as many seats as possible in the elections.

“If Janet and I got elected and the Conservatives did not get a majority that would not be satisfactory. But if we stand down, people concentrate on the policies and the Conservatives win then I will be happy.”

The committee had imposed three sanctions on Mr Murphy: A letter of censure will be sent by the committee to Mr Murphy; a report of the breach will be made to a meeting of the full council and Mr Murphy will be required to undergo training in ethics and standards.

The controversy surrounded an email sent by Kevin Vaughan, the political assistant to the Conservative group at County Hall, to BBC Radio Norfolk, in April last year.

It was sent two days before Nick Daubney, leader of West Norfolk Council, was due to appear on Nick Conrad’s show to discuss the King’s Lynn incinerator, which has long been a source of tension between West Norfolk and Norfolk County Council.

It suggested it might “be pertinent information” for the broadcaster to know that the borough council leader was facing “a serious leadership challenge” and that his authority had failed to procure alternative technology to the plant.

When the email came to light it sparked an independent investigation at County Hall, which concluded in the summer that Mr Vaughan had acted on the wishes of leader Mr Murphy. Mr Vaughan later left the council, with a pay-off.

Following the independent report, seven people complained about Mr Murphy’s behaviour and the county council asked Jenni Richards, QC, an expert in local government, to investigate.

She concluded Mr Murphy should face the standards hearing, with her investigation finding he had asked Mr Vaughan to lie about who asked him to send the email and, in conversations with the council’s chief executive about the issue, Mr Murphy “gave answers that were misleading, evasive and lacked candour”.

That, she said, meant he did not treat Mr Vaughan with respect, amounting to a breach of the councillor code of conduct and bringing his office and the council into disrepute.

A major revelation came when Mr White told the hearing that, on April 27, he had secretly recorded the conversation he had with Mr Murphy about the sending of that email.

Mr White had told the hearing he had recorded that conversation and had part of it transcribed because he had feared further down the line it could be his word against Mr Murphy’s.

But the committee cleared Mr Murphy of six of the seven claims and said Mr White’s evidence was “unclear and incomplete”.

See tomorrow’s EDP and Norwich Evening News for more on this story.

42 comments

  • So Fenscape, what is the URL for the radio broadcast? If there are some particularly choice parts they could make a good ringtone. And please to excuse the unrelated post, but I have to say congratulations mrsmurphy, you've coined the perfect slogan for Chloe's jobs push. Norwich For Jobs really doesn't do it, far too boring and functional. But your winning entry, well the Tories will be able to adopt it for workfare throughout the land.

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Is there yet more to emerge? The Murphys between them have been drawing £50k a year in allowances from NCC. Should we be organising food parcels?

    Report this comment

    Nemesis

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Doesn't look as if honesty and integrity mean anything nowadays in politics and public service is a thing of the past! Murphy, Huhne ... and how many more and how many to come?

    Report this comment

    Patrick

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • its very sad when politic comes to this as it destroys trust in those who are supposed to serve us. im sure the vast majority of those elected do the best they can. its a case of one bad apple hopefully which has unfortunately tarnished all their reputations.

    Report this comment

    MrB

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • I wish both of them well in their future endeavours, now Norfolk, it s team of officers, all this deserves to be run to the advantages of all, we must nurture our young, foster new ideas and think beyond party political lines, get back to serving local communities and be open to modernity. Let us look at modern recycling processes, gasification, and enhanced landfill mining, recovering vital resources. After today's announcement of Centrica pulling out of Sizewell C, should we now not cooperate with EU countries and start recycling nuclear waste in Thorium reactors, rather than dangerous pwr reactors.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Has the lovely couple already moved away from Mill Road, Watlington? Maybe the anti-Incinerator lobby will give them jobs.... nothing better than poachers turned gamekeepers!

    Report this comment

    Citizen of EUSSR

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • I'm sorry but those of you who think this Efw facility would bring jobs are sorely mistaken. Well except from the NHS and council staff dealing with health and traffic issues. The contractor awarded the 'ground works' contract are a laughing stock, just google what an absolute mess and financial disaster they had building the cambridge bus lanes! The taxpayer ended up paying out a fortune because of them.

    Report this comment

    d, west lynn

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • Dickens -I'm glad you are still around - it is nice to get some comic relief! Can you tell me please, was he behind the invasion of Granada? or the downfall of Gadaffi and is he finally going to cause the demise of Fidel Castro? It would be wonderful to know, also who is goi ng to be the author of Murphy, My part in his Downfall? Perhaps there is another Spike Milligan around somewhere buried n the depths of Private Eye?

    Report this comment

    maryjane

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • It is good to see so many planning to stand as Independents against those who still push their favourable party politics on us. Should future committee's on NCC still be run along lines of the strongest party dictating to others? could they be drawn out of a hat? All councillors swear to serve Norfolk to the best of their abilities, so why should one party have more say than the other? Should it not be more important to advance a future for us all? Those who'd stall and can't cooperate with what our expensive chief officers work out, would be seen to deny their oath to serve. Lets try and represent the mandates we have and develop our assets as sustainably as we can, so future generations can still trust that NCC works for your young, non voters as much as for the voting community.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • Murphy's priority was always Murphy. The people of this county were never a consideration. He has been faithfully aided and abetted by the very people who now seek to fill his boots and who will endevour to inflict more of the same discredited ideas and policies upon us. None of the candidates putting themselves foreward would be capable of grasping the financial socio-economic challenges of running a whelk stall on Yarmouth sea front, let alone effectively running County Hall. Goodbye Derrick, perhaps you should consider a more cathartic occupation - how about something in the Turks and Caicos islands. Remember, "Arbeit macht frei"

    Report this comment

    mrsmurphy

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • He certainly made the correct decision but give a little - a very tiny amount - of credit that he is standing down. Far too many politicians of all party's have not done so. Well today I guess that's one LibDem and one Conservative. I can think of a few Labour who deserve to join them.

    Report this comment

    andy

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • How did a man like this become Tory leader , and Council leader ? Desn`t say much for his colleagues` judgement .

    Report this comment

    dragonfly

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • The seat will go to the Tories. Derrick will step down but will remain very much involved. He has been the driving force behind the Conservatives for many years in this area and beyond and has been involved with at least two successful American Presidential election campaigns.

    Report this comment

    Dickens

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • Electra I think he is already an EX Director of the companies you mention. However The New Anglia Enterprise Partnership and Hethel Innovation Centre are companies he is currently listed as a Director of. I assume that as other Councillors make up most of the other board members his position on the Council ensured his position.

    Report this comment

    Canary Boy

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Pattrick Derrick Murphy, have you and your friends not realised that the people of Wymondham, Forehoe includes the Cromwell Ward, are not stupid enough to allow the conservatives to dominate anymore. Your colleagues on the town council have been shown the door and have been replaced with people who actually care for Wymondham not your preferred business partners. You really should not underestimate the power of the 'lesser councillors' as you like to call them!

    Report this comment

    Wymondham boy

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • What did him for me was when Cory accused Norfolk people as being "like sheep" When Murphy did not seek a public apology on our behalf.It showed just whose side he was on.He revealed at the hearing who that was-the Conservative Party was always his priority,not the people.He's helped make the Tories toxic in Norfolk and that's not going away any time soon.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • The few jobs created with an incinerator are dwarfed by the potential work in recycling centres. And No, the council has not voted on it, canary boy, please do inform yourself. A whole brand new revenue stream is being refused by NCC, something they could inspire other councils to do. looking at our neighbour Cambridgeshire, their current target for recycling is 81%, something we should strive for, but for that to happen NCC's make up has to change drastically and planners will have to educate themselves into new directions and better practises. Cllr. Murphy failed to work to the publicly given mandate to reduce, reuse and recycle, he did not much care about the impact of an incinerator so close to Kings Lynn, East Winch and Sandringham, an incinerator that would allow co-disposal, self monitored and with a chimney no higher than 85 meters, when modern stacks are usually 200 meters high. The technical expertise of this waste burner are inadequate and form the last Millenium, and the proposed operators have a record for pollution as long as my arm. Does this matter to canary boy? not one iota so it seems.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • The Conservatives will retain the seat. No question of that. This will blow over. Frankly I am sick and tired of hearing about this incinerator. I hope they build it though as we need more jobs in the area.

    Report this comment

    Del Boy

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • Retire from public life you arrogant fool. Nobody likes you, nobody wants you

    Report this comment

    robotsthatcare

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Mr Murphy said today: “We made the decision ages ago but have announced it today". Showing thereby the contempt in which he holds the electorate and the democratic process.

    Report this comment

    martin wallis

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • He really has thrown his toys out of the pram. Guilt is a strange thing. He must not be allowed to claim any compensation

    Report this comment

    Jacob Burns

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • He will go to america and work for tory wheelabrators.

    Report this comment

    Steve33

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • I must say that I heartily enjoyed Mr Murphy's rant on Radio Norfolk tonight. You'd think that his council was something to be proud of and he even had time to trot out his well worn lines about his party's huge majority, including 3 councillors who crossed the floor (but lacked the spine to go back to their Districts and seek immediate re-election under a Tory flag.). Some 31,594 Norfolk residents can sleep easier in their beds tonight knowing that the Murphy's will not be directly in their lives for at least the next 4 years and the rest of the 859,400 should be concerned that, unless they speak up, the likes of Borrett, Jordan, Steward and Plant may pick up where Derrick left off....

    Report this comment

    Fenscape

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Derrick Murphy was found out to be a liar. How could you believe a word he says. David White's recording was a last resort to get to the truth.

    Report this comment

    Jack

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • Steve 33: Murphy bound for Cory in the States? Stuff and nonsense... a nice little earner beckons him, as advisor on ethics and good governance in the Turks & Caicos Islands... maybe he could enter into an 'understanding' with Michael Ashcroft?

    Report this comment

    martin wallis

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Yet another parasite. I feel councillors, local or county, and politicians in general are losing more credibility day by day!

    Report this comment

    beverley

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • And so Dr C J Kemp and your Chairman. Weren't you advised not to take this bloke on. Oh, but you knew best. Now you look like a pair of numpties. And are you going to go crawling back to Messrs Herbert and Tomkinson? Trouble is the spin you put on Mr Tomkinson was that he was retiring instead of which he was very put out that you had pretty much chucked him out and he was going to leave the Tory party in May. And Mr Herbert has joined with Keith Weeks to form an independents party on South Norfolk District Council. Oh dear everyone is going to have to do some sneaky sliding out of this one aren't they. Not that we wont be pointing it out every step of the way. I think whoever stands as an Independent in these districts will win because of the awful awful mess you have made of everything. If Tomkinson and Herbert stand as Tories they will have independents standing against them. Their electorate will be disgusted with them. Whatever made the County think the Tories were fit to govern? They couldn't organise themselves out of a wet paper bag.

    Report this comment

    Electra

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Yes, Derrick's definitely been involved! Let the American's have him if that's what they like.

    Report this comment

    disolushund

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • Quote ''I'm taking my ball with me and I'm going home.''

    Report this comment

    Bruce87

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • He may have been 'cleared' by his buddies on the committee but the QC's report is now a matter of public record. And it doesn't make particularly flattering reading for la Murphy regardless of how he's spinning it right now.....

    Report this comment

    Fenscape

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • No word from Janet Murphy in all of this - is she incapable of making her own statement desipte her own influential position within Norfolk politics? Not so much a whimper as, well, nothing at all.

    Report this comment

    Fenscape

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • Everyone can see from Jenni Richards QC report that NCC would go to any lengths to shove a waste incinertor on the people of West Norfolk. Lies and deceit are the order of the day at County Hall. You should have been concentrating on improving services for Norfolk people no wonder our County is in a state. You have not been doing the job you have been paid to do.

    Report this comment

    Jack

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Is there yet more to emerge? The Murphys between them have been drawing £50k a year in allowances from NCC. Should we be sending food parcels?

    Report this comment

    Nemesis

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • I consider the loss to politics of the Murphys to be as tragic as today's loss of the honest, upright Chris (Buff) Huhne

    Report this comment

    Norfolk and Good

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Murphy involved in two successful American campaigns. What for, Sherriff of Goonyweeds, Utah? This guy also thinks he will be ennobled and take his seat in the House of Lords. Lord Murphy of Incinerator. I would like to make an announcement that I shall be taking up the position of Queen of Sheba the Second. After all if Murphy and his bird brained chums believe this rubbish I may as well come up with a very silly plan for my future. Anyone want to be Pharoah of Egypt? Isn't it about time we put this incredibly daft bunch out to pasture. Perhaps along the new Wensum Way that Mr Borratt (or Solomon in all his Glory as he will want to call himself if he becomes leader) is using just in case someone in his district is soft enough to fall for it and vote for him.

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • Di.ckens are we supposed to be impressed? Come on De.rrick stop trying to blow your own trumpet. Do us all a favour and dissappear of to America or Turks and Caicos, after your training in ethics, they will probably welcome you with open arms until you start telling those little porky pies. It was the lies that sunk you not the actual email. By the way is your friend on the committee, who absented himself early from the hearing on Friday, still talking to you?

    Report this comment

    Canary Boy

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • That's really disappointing. We have been deprived of the spectacle of these awful people receiving the public's verdict on his disgusting antics. Suppose this means they will be pursuing White and NCC for loss of earnings as well as the other grievances. McNeil has already opened the door for him with her little 'affect his future' report.

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • I am fed up hearing about this incinerator as well. There must be more important things going on. Those who seem to think this Murphy bloke is behind it all must be plain daft. The council have voted on it which means it will be built. One man leaving means nothing. Whoever takes over as leader will be the next target for sure but it wont be him or her responsible for building it either. I wish they would just get on with it instead of dragging it out like this. Big storm in a little teacup.

    Report this comment

    Canary Brain

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • Do tell. Now that this character has slunk off into the sunset do the Theatre Royal and The Forum Trust intend to keep him on as a Director? Or any of his other Directorships. You don't know the half of it with this lot. You would be stunned if you knew how many directorships they pick up along the way. Well Forum, well Theatre Royal? Are you going to do the decent thing?

    Report this comment

    Electra

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Thank goodness these two parasites have gone. Their antics with the incinerator and sale of RAF Coltishall was far from honest, open or ethical. Hopefully Jordan will be the next to go. This council is dishonest and corrupt which has already been proven. Bring on the May elections and the enquiries into the incinerator and Coltishall. Hopefully justice will be done

    Report this comment

    Commander500

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • sorry but the Council did not vote on it that is what started to whole problem

    Report this comment

    maryjane

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • Sick of hearing about the incinerator! I am sick of the li.es and deciet the Conservative group are so fond of. Look at this statistic it is the truth, so you may find it rather difficult to take in. 14 Months ago Wymondham had 13 Conservatives and 2 Lib Dem Town Councillors. Today the council is made up of 7 Conservatives, 6 Independents and 2 Lib Dems. By the way the public inquiry into the subject you are so sick of starts on 26th of this month you better get used to hearing about it or go on holiday as the revelations that will surface between 26th Feb and 19th April will dominate the media because all the li.es fed to the public to date will be exposed.

    Report this comment

    Wymondham boy

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

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