Conservatives at Norfolk County Council have selected Bill Borrett to become their new group chairman today - meaning he is almost certain to become the next council leader on Monday.

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Mr Borrett, who represents Elmham and Mattishall, defeated Graham Plant in a vote held by the Tory group at County Hall.

At an extraordinary county council meeting on Monday, Mr Borrett will be recommended to become county council leader.

While all 84 county councillors will be asked to agree to a new leader at Monday’s meeting, because the Conservative group has 59 members, giving it a majority of 35, it would be a remarkable turn of events if Mr Borrett does not get elected as council leader.

A farmer at Hoe, near Dereham, Mr Borrett has been a county councillor since 2009, is also cabinet member for environment and waste, plus a Breckland district councillor.

Mr Borrett has held the role of acting county council leader following Derrick Murphy’s decision to temporarily step down, before he later resigned earlier this month.

The secret ballot started at 10am today to allow the Conservative county councillors to pick whether they wanted Mr Borrett or Mr Plant to be the new chairman.

It had been thought Brian Long, also deputy leader of West Norfolk Council, would also stand, but he did not formally submit his nomination.

He told the EDP: “It was obvious to me as I was making contact with other members I wasn’t going to achieve enough support to make a dent one way or the other. I withdrew but live to fight another day.”

Phil Hardy, Conservative for Thorpe Hamlet, said: “They were two very strong candidates, it was very difficult to choose and Graham has been very gracious in defeat in wishing Bill all the best. Hopefully we can move forward united into the elections in May.”

Today’s election took place after former Norfolk County Council leader Derrick Murphy resigned. He did so last month, to focus on a standards hearing he was facing.

At that hearing he was cleared, by a committee of fellow councillors, of six of seven claims he had breached the council’s code of conduct, but on one count he was found to have committed a breach.

That one count related to him bringing his office into disrepute because he had asked Kevin Vaughan, a political assistant to Mr Murphy’s Conservative group to claim it was so-called twin hatter councillors –county councillors who also serve on West Norfolk Council – not Mr Murphy, who asked him to send an email to the BBC.

The committee imposed three sanctions: 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.

Mr Murphy then announced he would not be seeking a return as chairman and then revealed he and his wife Janet, also a county councillor, would not be standing in May’s county council elections.

The leader of the Liberal Democrat Group at Norfolk County Council has announced he will not be standing for election in May.

Mike Brindle, who represents Thetford West on the council and succeeded Paul Morse as Lib Dem leader last year, said “personal grounds” had prompted his decision.

26 comments

  • Brian Long has two chances. Little chance and no chance. To say he is unpopular would be a severe understatement.

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    Canary Brain

    Friday, February 22, 2013

  • Let us all hope that they have the good sense not to elect Brian Long. The most two faced councillor in Norfolk.

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    The-Blue-Flag

    Friday, February 22, 2013

  • One assumes that Brian Long had to nominate himself. I cannot imagine anyone else doing it.

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    Del Boy

    Friday, February 22, 2013

  • Norfolk really is a "Rotten Borough".

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, February 24, 2013

  • Ex Green party turncoat, Cllr. Phil Hardie, will hopefully be facing an Independent candidate with stronger allegiances to his electorate and their mandate than any of these party politicians could muster these days.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Friday, February 22, 2013

  • The outcome of the Cromer by-election should send a shudder down the spines of Norfolk's Conservative party.From a seat the Tory party believed it owned to last place,bottom of the poll behind LDs,Lab and Ukip.All the county's electorate get the chance to do the same thing in May.The next step is the North Sea for Norfolk's Tories,not forgetting The Wash and other available water-courses.The Wensum is full of them already.

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    Peter Watson

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • Nice to see Phil Hardy get a final word into the press before being loaded into a cannon and blasted out of his seat by an appreciative electorate after he knifed them so horribly last year....

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    User Removed

    Friday, February 22, 2013

  • A nod is as good as a wink in the Lodge. Shake on it.

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    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, February 24, 2013

  • Another Tory in Cromer bites the dust?

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    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • Nod is as good as a wink at the Lodge. Shake on it?

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    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, February 24, 2013

  • "........and Mr Murphy will be required to undergo training in ethics and standards". Ha ha ha. You couldnt make iit up. I would have thought "Sack" would have been more appropriate.

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    "V"

    Friday, February 22, 2013

  • Borrett and Plant are synonymous with the self serving culture that pervades County Hall.They have been up to their necks in all the apalling decision making and political intrigue. They along with Steward, have always been a major part of the problem. They can NEVER be part of the solution.

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    mrsmurphy

    Friday, February 22, 2013

  • Shame! I was secretly hoping for Long. It will have been good sport to see if his actions as leader measured up to his anti-incinerator rhetoric. Easy game these Tories paly when they know what the outcome will be; play the defiant maverick for the benefit of their voting public. For comparison look at the silly LibDems - promising the earth in "opposition" pre 2010, and now as obedient lackeys propping up the Tories and, in so doing, back-tracking on every commitment they gave to get elected.

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    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Friday, February 22, 2013

  • Oh good, we get to see the mankini. Seriously though the Tories have shown Kami Kaze tendencies for over a year now. No change with this choice. He is so tarnished with being Murphy's boy that he will not be able to do anything without everyone watching him through a microscope. Still, when you look at the choice they had they didn't even have the luxury of the best of a bad bunch. They are all equally awful.

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    alecto

    Friday, February 22, 2013

  • No doubt the NCC PR engine has been on the phone to the EDP to get that tagline at the top changed to read 'Farmer Bill Borrett' in the hope that it makes him out to be 'the common man' and not some nut job who's likely to come crashing through your back hedge on his horse on a Sunday morning while flaying wildly with his whip and yelling at the local yokels to get out of his way....

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    User Removed

    Friday, February 22, 2013

  • A nod is as good as a wink in the Lodge. Shake on it.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, February 24, 2013

  • @fenscape - my thoughts entirely about Phil Hardy, but your excellent comment beat me to it.

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    gilded beams

    Friday, February 22, 2013

  • I think poor Philip must be trying to gain favour the minutes of the last cabinet meeting show :- The Cabinet confirmed the following appointments: Ian Mackie would replace Phil Hardy on the Constitution Advisory Group. Paul Wells would replace Phil Hardy on the Treasury Management Panel. Judy Leggett would replace Phil Hardy as Cabinet Advisor for Restorative Approaches. Bless him!

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    Canary Boy

    Friday, February 22, 2013

  • All joking aside this is good news for those who are sick and tired of the current administration at County. Borrett is the Conservative responsible for forcing the incinerator on King's Lynn against the wishes of 65515 members of the electorate. Only a fool would not realise the danger to the conservative party in May, its like turkeys voting for Christmas. I hear there is going to be an excellent candidate standing against Borrett who has an overwhelming chance of overthrowing him and causing another Leadership farce in May. No doubt we will end up with Plant or Jo.rdan, I am sure the people of Coltishall will back him! Though thinking of Jo.rdan there should be a compulsory retirement age for cllrs as they have such important decisions to make and dementia is known to creep up on the elderly unnoticed.

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    Canary Boy

    Friday, February 22, 2013

  • We will remember all the councillors that have sat back and allowed DEMOCRACY to die in Norfolk. Roll on the elections. Borrett only cares about number one, himself. You will not be in the chair for long you have caused a war with West Norfolk and you will have to suffer the consequences of your bullying tactics to shove a dirty stinking waste incinerator on families in King's Lynn. How would you like a waste incinerator near you. I would not wish that on my worst enemy. You are not fit to be leader, you can't even understand what the best options are for dealing with waste. Incineration is as bad as landfill, mountains of toxic ash will have to be buried in a hole in the ground. £600 million of our money would be wasted. A waste incinerator spewing poisons onto the delicate environment in The Wash for 25 years would be a ecological disaster. Why do you want a crown for that? You will never be West Norfolk's Leader.

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    Jack

    Friday, February 22, 2013

  • Vote Borat get Murphy.Those who would have voted for him are those who are afraid of losing their positions on the Cabinet and committees. However there are only a few weeks to go and then its up for grabs Norfolk itself must decide.

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    maryjane

    Friday, February 22, 2013

  • That would be a turn up for the books,Canary Boy, but bear in mind BB has recently acquired much of the Swanton M vote via his precision-targetted budget hand-out.

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    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Friday, February 22, 2013

  • Will Borratt wear his mankini if he is chosen?

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    alecto

    Friday, February 22, 2013

  • Cllr. Borett was seen last week rolling up in front of a nursery, taking pictures of the building in his ward, unannounced to locals who wondered who he was. He drove away after having his picture taken handing over some cheque. Sadly no minority party or Independent is standing to lift the low morale at NCC, with these two proponents we will get the same as it ever was. Cllr. Plant is a declared Freemason of traffic survey fame, whilst Cllr. Borett lack of foresight has brought us the waste burner proposal, what choice?

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Friday, February 22, 2013

  • Bore rat has been selected by the majority, for the majority, bring on the elections in May!

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Friday, February 22, 2013

  • Who cares? These people have become completely arrogant and lost touch with the people of Norfolk. The cabinet system is completely flawed and has led to a group of self-serving dictators being in charge of Norfolk.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Friday, February 22, 2013

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

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