Conservatives in Norfolk have been exchanging blows after a Tory MP accused the county council of being “arrogant” and acting like “Communist party chiefs” in the former Soviet block.

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North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham launched his attack in an interview with the Eastern Daily Press, arguing that the authority had not listened to public concern over plans to build an incinerator in his constituency.

Meanwhile Mr Bellingham slammed county council leader Derrick Murphy claiming he should have tried to defend the incinerator plans in his own electoral division, the site of the incinerator controversy, rather than seeking a new seat in the south.

But the MP’s broadside provoked an immediate reaction from Mr Murphy, who on hearing Mr Bellingham’s comments yesterday made a complaint about them to Conservative Campaign Headquarters in London.

County Hall’s plans to build an incinerator at Saddlebow, near King’s Lynn, have been opposed by a major public campaign which saw 65,000 people vote against the plant in a poll organised by West Norfolk council.

Since then the plans have been called in and will be the subject of a public inquiry starting in February, which will make a recommendation to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles on whether they should go ahead or not.

Mr Bellingham said: “The county council haven’t engaged with the public. They have been arrogant. It has been as if we’re a country back in the Soviet block, somewhere like Romania, where they told a village they would have to have some sort of chemical works next to them and no one got a say.

“They have behaved like regional Communist party chiefs in places like Romania and Hungary before the collapse of the iron curtain.”

The EDP has already reported how Mr Murphy will not be fighting next year’s council elections in his current seat but will instead stand in Forehoe Ward.

Mr Bellingham said: “He would have earned a great deal of respect from local people if he had said ‘you may not agree with me but I think it’s the right thing to do and I will stand up for it’”

The Tory MP left his job on the government front bench in the recent reshuffle and says he is now less constrained in what he can say in the House of Commons.

As a result he is now planning a parliamentary campaign to lobby against the incinerator including calling debates, asking questions to the prime minister and pressuring other ministers.

But Mr Murphy hit back pointing out that two court challenges to the incinerator plans had failed, saying: “Does he think high court judges are Communists too?”

He went on: “Poor old Henry. This sort of intemperate language demeans him more than anyone else. When people engage in personal abuse it means they have lost or don’t have an argument. I think his comments will come back to haunt him.”

He also said that he had no choice but to seek a new council seat after being informed that he would definitely not be re-selected to fight for his current seat in the Freebridge Lynn division.

25 comments

  • LFB. I went to the fund raising event at Fairgreen last week and was impressed by the turnout. The campaign has grown stronger and quite impressed how the public are more determined than ever not to allow any talk of an incinerator at Kings Lynn. One thing that has come out of the incinerator debate is how Derrick Murphy is showing inexperience and making County Hall a laughing stock. What is worse County Hall are just taking it on the chin instead of reprimanding him from the very start. It was on the cards the Saddlebow site and the proposed burner should have been called in from day one as NCC own the land and are the planning authority. County Hall and the Tory majority though incompetence has caused irreversible damage to West Norfolk County Councillors and the public as the planning application should have been determined from outside the county. Derrick Murphy has put some of his councillors in a compromising position. By informing the planning committee that some councillors including himself were allegedly harassed by the public for the sympathy vote. Very strange none of the councillors reported any incidents on the day to the police until month’s later and events leading up to a vital meeting resounding proof of this stage managed fiasco none has ever been reported since.

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    wattonlad

    Friday, October 19, 2012

  • It does seem that Henry Bellingham is having to fight a lone battle with his Conservative colleagues at county hall when all 9 of Norfolk's MPs wrote to Pickles opposing the incinerator.Do Norfolk's other 8 MPs share his view that Norfolk County Council runs Norfolk as if it were some sort of satellite state of Soviet Russia with its very own Uncle Joe at the helm?

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    Peter Watson

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • Trevor Ashwin, you make a very good point. I admit that I have always contacted Henry because he always responds quickly to concerns raised with him, it was due to his willingness to help all members of his community that I became a staunch conservative supporter for most of my adult life. I now realise that our Councillors should be the people we initially turn too and hold to account when they ignore you, do not respond, or tell fibs! It is very unfortunate for Henry that due to the behaviour of Murphy, his cabinet and NCC officers, the party he has represented for so many years is now a dirty word in Norfolk. It will be interesting at the next election to see if Henry can survive while Murphy,his cabinet collegues and his yes men fall. It is possible, as shown in the by election for Harwoods seat, when Foster lost resoundingly because he was not trusted by the people while Shiela Young, a conservative in the same ward, who has attended meetings at County Hall with opponents to the incinerator was trusted and elected. I shall certainly hold my local councillors responsible for their actions, and those of Norfolk County Council, both Langwade (Borough) and Mickleburgh (County) are twin hatters who consider Murphys word as bible and my views irrelevant.

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    Joy, King's Lynn

    Sunday, October 21, 2012

  • Thank you Mr Bellingham for recognizing, and bringing to public attention, the way in which the Norfolk Conservative Group conduct themselves and direct the business of Norfolk County Council. If the 'descent' Conservative County Councillors continue to support their leaders the party will face a resounding defeat in the May elections and deservedly so! lifelong supporters across Norfolk have stopped putting thier trust in their local Conservative Cllrs, many are now actively campaigning against the party. Henry Bellingham realises this and had chosen, along with Nick Daubney, to stand with the people who elected him to power and against the handful of dictators sitting around the cabinet table at County Hall.

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    Joy, King's Lynn

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • Henry Bellingham is aware how devious many West Norfolk County Councillors are. They have not just let down the public but themselves and their families. February is the worse time possible to hold an Inquiry for many County Councillors. When NCC and Cory Wheelabrator give evidence will be relayed via the media and cause frustration anxiety to the public in turn I expect the media will ask questions about County Councillor how they fought or hid behind Derrick Murphy. Roll on May elections.

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    Alan Allan

    Sunday, October 21, 2012

  • 11 Dec 2011 George Osborne and David Cameron rejected incinerators in their own constituencies, quoting they are the largest polluters to humans and the wildlife.Osbourne is the MP for Tatton' Cheshire and Cameron is the MP for Whitney, Oxfordfordshire. They both have young children, seems like Localism is alive and thriving in their constituencies.We also have families with young children and elderly grandparents but the politicians are still pushing against the peoples wishes to build a incinerater within 2 miles of our Town, They insist that it is safe,But according to the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer it is not safe.It appears that Localism is recognised by "not what you know, but who you know" ? It is time the people of Norfolk stood up and be counted,and vote against incineration in the county of Norfolk,and what gives NCC councillers the right to dictate what we can do, and what we can not do in King's Lynn or any of the other towns and villages in our County. I am a senior citizen from South Lynn,and I am furious about NCC Ignoring the wishes of 65,516 people who participated in a democratic referendum. Our godson who will be coming home in two weeks time, will have completed 5 tours,2 in Iraq,3 in Afghanistan. His sister who is our god-daughter has a 15 month baby and expecting another baby in two weeks time,lives within 2Km upwind of the proposed site.He and many other boys and girls have volunteered!!! (not conscripted)They have put their lives in danger for every person in our country.So why have they put themselves in danger,when County Councils ignore the democratic results of their constituents.Nice one Henry, Murphy does not like some of his own medicine,he has run to the Conservative Campaign Headquarters in London. It reminds me of David and Goliath

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    LFB

    Friday, October 19, 2012

  • Seems to me that we shall hear lots of posturing from those that fear loosing their comfortable lives in Parliament and County Council with elections looming.

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    Marigold

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • Whooping cough is on the increase small babies struggling for a breath. Pollution attacks the immune system so babies cannot fight off many illnesses. Waste incinerators pollute the environment and small children will suffer given an injection without proper research into finding the cause. 65.516 people said NO. Henry Bellingham has every right to fight it is what MPs are paid to do represent us. How many complaints has Derrick Murphy got against him I wonder? WE DON'T WANT A WASTE INCINERATOR DERRICK.

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    Jack

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • Anybody that has been on the wrong side of Derrick Murphy will know he is provocative and grinds you down. It is not very nice being on the receiving end as Henry Bellingham and Nick Daubney had to endure insults from Derrick Murphy when interviewed on BBC Radio Norfolk.

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    batemansusan

    Friday, October 19, 2012

  • Derrick Murphy is guilty of deserting a sinking ship. He has let down some of his loyal Councillors Rockcliffe Langwade Mickleburgh Hutson and Janet Murphy who all kept low profiles instead of fighting to reject the incinerator. They were all concerned about losing valuable financial benefits that go with the job will now more than likely lose their seats next May elections. The will leave office in shame. John Dobson and Brian Long whom stood up to the Derrick Murphy after the results of referendum as they had implemented Tory Party manifesto on localism will be the true winners.

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    Knee deep In Toxic ash

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • Derrick Murphy’s bizarre statement that Henry Bellingham words will come back to haunt him. This is the same man that walks around County Hall calling Henry Bellingham the Weasel. He had disrespect for him before the Kings Lynn incinerator debate. Derrick Murphy is a long way down the pecking order and thinks he is more important than our MPs. Next May is his chance to argue with another person, the jobcentreplus employment officer.

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    Emma Miller

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • The county council is elected to serve the whole county not to be swayed by a minority campaign led by a council leader seeking to look after his political career nor by an MP who is worried by the opposition in his constituency to a project designed to serve the whole county. NCC may be incompetent-if they had handled this properly Daubney might not have had such an easy ride-but to liken them to Communists is absurd. I hope West Norfolk will pick up the bill for the rest of the county when we are fined by the EU for failing to comply with land fill limits and our council tax bills go up as a result. If energy shortages are approaching fast it seems to make a lot of sense to use non recyclable refuse to drive generators rather than sticking it in hole in the ground or wasting money turning it into valueless compost.

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    Daisy Roots

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • I don't believe that Cllr Murphy will feel as smug when the investigation presently being carried out by a QC into his role in the Kevingate affair is completed next month. Inevitably, NCC will seek to suppress her report, and exclude the public and press from the meeting of the Standards Committee when it determines the seven conduct complaints aginst him. However, a great many people are committed to ensuring that this will not be the end of the matter.

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    Nemesis

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • I think that's an insult to the Communists.

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    Jeffrey Osborne

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • I think it is telling that Murphy is happy to ride roughshod over the people of Norfolk but as soon as it is pointed out accurately that he and he gang are, and this has to be made clear, behaving like Communist officials in the old Soviet Bloc not like Communists (an important difference) he goes running off to complain to CCHQ like the school bully running to teacher when someone stands up to him. They wont take any notice of you Murphy. They dont like Tory Norfolk County Councillors. You are a thorn in their side.

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    alecto

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • What's fascinating here is that we can see how little people expect of their local democratic institutions and their councillors. Ultimately, people try to hold their MPs -- rather than council leaders -- to account when they find themselves threatened by "developments" such as the Norwich Joint Core Strategy and the incinerator. If the MPs and the councils represent the same party, heavy sweating ensues, as Mr Bellingham has discovered. People must start engaging with county and districtborough councils on a much greater scale than at present. At election time, we need many more people finding out what individuals and parties in local govt actually stand for, and VOTING accordingly. This might help check the power of the single-party states, often elected on low turnouts, that presently rule large areas of Norfolk.

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    Trevor Ashwin

    Friday, October 19, 2012

  • Thanks for realising that your voters are unhappy with being ignored by your fellow party members. I expect that all those Independents unhappy with the NCC, will receive your undivided support after their election. It is party politics that is in the dock, regardless of colour and persuasion, its dogma ridden remoteness from the electorate, merely used as a means to their vested interest aims. Henry Bellingham can be part of the political renaissance, should he feel that he is not supported by his party any more.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • Well done, Henry. You and the other Tory MPs have had to put up with a lot with this horrible rabble behaving like they own Norfolk and it is their own personal playground. Weirdly enough it will be necessary to get rid of many of these terrible examples in order to save the Conservative Party in Norfolk. So many people I speak to say they are still Conservatives but they have absolutely nothing in common with Tory councillors because of their revolting behaviour. The people of Forehoe and Clavering where Murphy's sidekickwife has been gifted a seat by the awful KempStebbingsFuller axis in South Norfolk will have to stand fast to protect the people of the rest of Norfolk. You may not want to vote for another party but the lucky divisions next May will have Independents to vote for and they aren't going to take any rubbish from anyone.

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    alecto

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • Interesting that Murphy is trying to establish some sort of moral high ground by saying that Mr Bellingham's 'comments will come back to haunt him.' Maybe he is quoting from personal experience seeing as he has his own very large personal spectre that has forced him to stand in another ward come May 2013......?

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    Fenscape

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • Mr Bellingham is spot on.

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    Old Long Balls

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • The reason Derrick Murphy is in this mess because it was self inflicted. The master of spin has created an all our war between County, Borough Parish Councils and our MPs. The might of County Halls legal department and multimillion $ known polluters CW with dodgy phone polls, nod and a wink to friends at BBC Radio Norfolk and all could not break the pro recycling campaigners. Not one person could come up with a valid reason to have an incinerator anywhere in Norfolk and this can be verified in the planning consultation.

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    Choice

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • It's not often I agree with Mr Bellingham, but in this instance I most certainly do. Norfolk County Council ignores public opinion time and time again; just look at the RAF Coltishall fiasco, a case in point. Once elected they put two fingers up to local democracy. Arrogance isn't the word for it.

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    Pete Bogg

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • .....Not one person could come up with a valid reason to have an incinerator anywhere in Norfolk .....cos it's Norfolks rubbish and burning it is cheaper than paying landfill tax. Yarmouth used to have an incinerator called the destructer...did Norwich ever have one?

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    Fly Tipper

    Friday, October 19, 2012

  • NCC has a fixation with burning and was disappointed when Costessey gave a resounding no. They were not going to make the same mistake again. I expect they could not believe all their wishes would come true when the Enforcer Derrick Murphy came on the scene. It summed it up at the stage managed planning meeting when Norfolk people were described as being sheep. Slow and follow like a Lamb to slaughter by a pro incinerator campaigner. Also NCC had taken advantage that MP Henry Bellingham was busy at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and imposed restricts with the post. No more MR Nice Guy Henry Bellingham and let battle commence.

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    Alan Allan

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • I think Henry knows Labour have a good chance of beating him (again) in the next general election and is simply currying favour with the electorate. He was not saying this, so I recall, at the start of the debate. Bottling up your real views by hiding behind being a government minister fits Henry's definition of "communist" like a glove.

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    Jonny

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

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

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