Nick Daubney remained the leader of West Norfolk council tonight after surviving a challenge at the AGM of the authority’s ruling Conservatives.

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Peter Cousins, ward councillor for Spellowfields, stood against Mr Daubney on a pledge to make the workings of the 42-strong group more open, as Tories met behind closed doors at King’s Lynn Town Hall.

But Mr Daubney, who has led the council for five years, won the secret ballot by what was understood to be a comfortable majority. Applause rang out as the result was announced.

“It went in my favour and I’m delighted,” Mr Daubney said after tonight’s meeting.

Mr Cousins insisted he would have continued the council’s campaign against the controversial incinerator proposed for Saddlebow, on the edge of King’s Lynn, had he succeeded.

Mr Daubney’s deputy leader, Brian Long, also survived a challenge. A decision is expected shortly over whether West Norfolk council will win a judicial review of the government’s decision to fund the incinerator.

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