“My gut feeling is you should officially fall on your sword and resign” – Norfolk County Council chairman’s message to leader

Ian Monson, chairman of Norfolk County Council Ian Monson, chairman of Norfolk County Council

Monday, January 21, 2013
10:05 AM

The chairman of Norfolk County Council sent an email urging its former leader to “fall on his sword and resign” rather than return to the role if he wins a standards committee case against him.

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Derrick MurphyDerrick Murphy

Derrick Murphy stood down on January 9 to concentrate on his preparation for an inquiry into his role in the sending of an email which appeared to undermine a fellow Conservative council leader.

He retains his position as chairman of the Tory group, and in an email to colleagues on January 9 said he expected his resignation from the council leadership to be temporary if the investigation supported his conduct.

However, county council chairman Ian Monson, who represents the authority at civic events, said in an email to fellow Conservatives later that day that the controversy had “brought the public image of the council down to a very low level”.

In the message, marked “not for re-transmission” but seen by the EDP, the former Conservative cabinet member said Mr Murphy’s statement did not go far enough.

Mr Monson wrote: “My gut feeling is you should officially fall on your sword and resign, letting someone else take the helm.

“I feel this would be in the best interests of the county council as a whole and, indeed, the Conservative group, irrespective of whether or not you will eventually be able to prove your innocence and clear your name, which I sincerely hope you do.

“We are far too close to elections now to allow this issue to continue producing negative news over the next few weeks, or even months. It must be snuffed out instantly and not allowed to fester any further.”

Mr Murphy would need the support of the Conservative group, and then the full council, to regain his position as council leader, and Mr Monson is now the most senior Tory to oppose this.

When contacted by the EDP, Mr Monson said that, as chairman, he did not have a public opinion on Mr Murphy’s leadership, and declined to comment.

However, he denied Mr Murphy’s suggestion he later sent him a private message that was “completely different”, and said: “It was the same view. That’s absolutely wrong.”

Mr Murphy said the “vast majority” of the Conservative group was backing him, and only one councillor had “initially” expressed reservations about his intention to return to the council leadership.

He said he had received messages of support from about 35 of the 59 Conservative councillors since his January 9 email.

He said: “I have had overwhelming support from the group. It has been massive. [Mr Monson] sent me a subsequent email and said it was fine.

“The support for me is overwhelming. I have complete and utter backing.”

27 comments

  • Please dont resign Murphy. Want to see you well and truly beaten in the local elections along with your glove puppet Borrett. Between you you have reduced the fortunes of the Tory party in Norfolk to an all time low. And for what? We need to find out and we shall, but dont deny the people the chance to give their opinion on you lot.

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    Electra

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • "Standards" If NCC are anything like Breckland DC it will be a complete & utter farce. I, a member of the public, very recently made a case against a very senior Cllr at Breckland DC "Weasel" & it was a white wash. Standards they have no standards.

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    Sandra Osborn

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • At last, a man with a sense of morality!

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    julygirl

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • After the latest breaches of security and depiction of many official document at NCC which should have been kept under wraps, it is becoming apparent that moral must be very low at NCC. I would like to thank the chap and his dog Mutley who showed up how easy it is to enter County Hall and walk through offices without challenging, he has done us a favour. I agree with Chair Monson, but I would ask the whole cabinet to resign as they are as bad as each other.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • Peter Watson, I think the plan is to hold the meeting in secret initially to see if the Standards Committee allow the public to enter. If it's decided that they are allowed in, NCC will let the EDP know and they will print it in their Evening News edition to let the public know they could have attended. It's all becoming a rather poor taste joke as with most things at County Hall.

    Report this comment

    Honest John

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • Derrick Murphy believes he has the “complete and utter backing” of the County Conservative Group to return as Leader and seems wholly unaware that whatever backing he continues to enjoy is wholly dependent upon the content of the report into Kevingate and the outcome of the Standards hearing. When you consider that Mr Murphy is facing a hearing on the recommendations of a trained and experienced QC, there is clearly some substance to the case against him and it is almost certain that he will be damaged further and a long and protracted political death is the last thing the public or NCC can afford. Mr Murphy should not compromise his own defence but he owes it to the tax payer to put an end to this on-going farce and he should go permanently.

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    Alistair Beales

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • Will the Standards Committee hearing be opened up to the public and press? No doubt we will be told on the day!

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    Scooby

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • And if you want to resign Mr Monson then I think Mutley the videoing dog should be the next chairman. He would look great in that collar and having been all over County Hall probably knows it better than any Councillor. Sorry everyone if you dont know what I am talking about but the EDP will eventually catch up.

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    alecto

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • Why the double standards at County Hall;one rule for objectors and another for the ex leader? Can a legal beagle explain?

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    bedoomed

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • I note that, despite resigning as Leader, Cllr Murphy is still holding onto his seat on the Cabinet. See the agenda for next Monday's meeting.

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    Nemesis

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • So, the EDP has 'seen' an email marked “not for re-transmission” sent to Conservative members of the council. Which one of those councillors did not understand that simple phrase? This council is rotten to the core, can any of them be trusted? If I send a letteremail etc and I mark it as 'Private & Confidential' I would expect it to be treated as such. Whatever your views on this particular matter, if you receive an email marked "not for re-transmission" then I am pretty sure that this also includes bringing it to the attention of the local media! Don't get me wrong; I too think that Murphy should go, but Ian Monson is now left wondering which, if any, of his fellow Conservative members he can trust. I hope the people of Norfolk will bring a clean sweep to this council later this year, we need to start afresh, it has become a joke. Unfortunately it's a not very funny one.

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    Pete Bogg

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • Although Cllr. Monson's damage limitation PR is most likely appreciated by fellow members, Mr. Murphy leaving now will not stop the split within the Tory Party, nor does it address the past lack of democratic accountability at County Hall.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • Cllr. Monsoon may want D.M. out but the erstwhile leader is right to suggest that this will not get the support of the party at County Hall. He has ensured that the current cabinet and former members were implicated in all his actions and remaining members supported him in confidence motions. So who will be left with clean hands to take over?

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    Kenny Bunkport

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • The politicians should all fall on their swords in a literal sense.

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • 35 out of 59 is not a'massive' majority bearing in mind that a very high proportion of those are in their jobs, not through their skills but the fact that they are are sycophants and rely on Murphy for their allowances (you want a letter of support, just tell us what to say!!)- that's the order of the day at County Hall and sadly it appears to have permeated some of the officers'mentality as well as can be seen in the handling so far of the enquiry into Kevingate. The whole place is rotten. Murphy's ambition was to destroy West Norfolk council after not being made leader, to destroy the MP, and now to destroy the Tory party in County Hall and indeed the Party generally. There are still some fighting really hard against this injustice and hopefully they will win in the end in exposing this man for what he is.

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    maryjane

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • will it come to "the night of the long knives", nice bit of infighting, keep it going boys.

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    Rorping

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • It appears that they are all fighting amongst themselves and all calling themselves liars! Never believe them even in the may elections, best vote for alternative to this shambles that call themselves conservatives.

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    Marigold

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Monsoon is such a big tease. Why send a personal message to DM to all other tory councillors as well other than as a vehicle for its leakage to the press.

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    Police Commissioner ???

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • Name this saga;either"GO NOW"; "AIN'T MISBEHAVIN"; or "CABARET"

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    bedoomed

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • The city council debate on the Asda application was well covered by local media so that the process,at least,is seen as open and transparent.Will the Standards Committee hearing be held in secret or will public and press be allowed to see and hear their deliberations?Further secrecy can only support those who believe their role is merely an exercise in "rubber stamping" and strengthen the view that an outside,independent body is needed as it would be a more objective way of proceeding,not so subject to manipulative control.

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    Peter Watson

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • I am beginning to think it would be better if you all resigned. You cant even work out how to lock a door. NP Law brag about how they are just like a proper law firm. I can assure you we lock our doors at night to protect the information we have stored in our office. You are a disgraceful bunch and it is pretty awful that the EDP have not reported this.

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    alecto

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • I have been seeing very interesting emails from Brian Long. Pity the EDP wont print those, or this post for that matter. What are they afraid of.

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    alecto

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • Complete and utter backing at 60 per cent? Murphy needs a dictionary.

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    JanieH

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • Imagine the sunny day in May 2008 after the Conservative party secured a massive majority in the county on the basis of the unpopularity of Gordon Brown's government,7 out of the 8 districts were firmly under Tory control and David Cameron,at the height of his hoodie-hugging and husky-loving,was 20% ahead in the polls,an outright Conservative majority an inevitability.The Conservative party even had a tree on its' logo although luckily not an ash tree.Where did it all go wrong?

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • At last, a man with a sense of morality!

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    julygirl

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • Who cares if the standards meeting is held in private - the EDP will have a wire on an insider and from the transcript publish some cherry-picked extracts, just like this report. Why send a message, which appears to be a personal exchange between Monsoon and DM, to all tory councillors other than as a vehicle for its leakage? That Ian Monsoon, he's such a tease.

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    Police Commissioner ???

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • Complete and utter backing at 60 per cent? Murphy needs a dictionary.

    Report this comment

    JanieH

    Monday, January 21, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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