Breckland Council leader loses bid to defend county council seat to cabinet colleague he removed

The Conservative leader of Breckland Council has lost his fight to defend his seat on Norfolk County Council to a councillor he removed from his cabinet two months ago.

William Nunn has represented the Guiltcross division on the county council since 2009, but local party members last Thursday rejected his bid to remain their candidate and instead chose Stephen Askew to stand in the 2013 election.

Mr Askew had been a member of Mr Nunn's top team at Breckland for five years until he lost his responsibilities for finance and democratic services in a wide-ranging reshuffle in April.

It is believed a small minority of Tory councillors on Breckland Council became disaffected because of the changes, which also saw two other cabinet members lose their positions and deputy leader Adrian Stasiak voted out by his colleagues.

However, both Mr Nunn and Mr Askew, who represent the neighbouring West and East Guiltcross wards, denied the fight for the county council position was sparked by bad blood over the reshuffle.

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Mr Nunn said: 'If I'm really honest, Steve did a much more local speech about how he would represent the parishes and told them about his newsletter. They asked me the same questions and I said I don't tend to attend parish councils unless I'm asked and I don't do a newsletter.

'I can't say I always had a passion for the county council because it's almost too global for me, whereas at a district you are genuinely at the coal face.'

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Mr Askew said the loss of his cabinet role had not prompted his challenge to Mr Nunn, who had first suggested he run for the district council and who he said he would always be good friends with.

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