Tributes after Cliff Jordan, former leader of Norfolk County Council, dies
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Tributes have been paid after Cliff Jordan, former leader of Norfolk County Council, died just weeks after he stood down following a lung cancer diagnosis.
Norfolk County Council tonight confirmed the death of Conservative Mr Jordan, who served as leader at County Hall from May 2016 to May 18, this year - when he announced he would be resigning.
Mr Jordan, 73, died this afternoon, surrounded by his family.
George Freeman, Mid-Norfolk MP, said he was 'very sad' to hear Mr Jordan had died and paid tribute to 'a real Norfolk man to his bones', while South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss said she was 'very sorry' to hear Mr Jordan had died.
Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis said his thoughts were with Mr Jordan's family and friends and that he 'cared passionately about Norfolk'.
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Keith Simpson, Broadland MP, said: 'I am so sorry to hear that Cliff has died. When I was the MP for the old Mid Norfolk constituency, we worked together and underneath the rough diamond was a shrewd operator and a real old Norfolk boy.'
Norfolk Conservatives said their thoughts were with Mr Jordan's family and friends, while Dan Roper, leader of the Liberal Democrat group at County Hall said he was 'very sorry to hear the sad news'.
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Alison Thomas, who served as Mr Jordan's deputy at County Hall, tweeted that she would miss Cliff 'more than words can say.'
Fellow Conservative county councillor Tom Garrod, who represents Wroxham, said: 'We've lost a true Norfolk boy tonight. Cliff cared about the community and those around him with unwavering passion. I will miss him terribly.'
Graham Plant, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, who became deputy leader of Norfolk County Council last week, said: 'So sad to hear of Cliff's passing. Thoughts are with family and friends. RIP.'
Thomas Smith, Conservative county councillor for Gaywood South in King's Lynn, tweeted: 'This is incredibly sad. So swift. May God grant him peace and comfort his family and many friends in their grief.'
And Ed Colman, Conservative county councillor for Swaffham, tweeted that: 'Cliff's character and personality will be deeply missed by many.'
South West Norfolk Conservatives tweeted their condolences, describing Mr Jordan as 'a true Norfolk man'.
Ian Sherwood, who represents Swaffham on Breckland Council, said he had been driving to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital to see Mr Jordan when he received the news he had died.
Mr Jordan kept bees and Mr Sherwood had been planning to take him a few spoonfuls of honey from his hives. He said: 'As beekeeping tradition requires I will tell Cliff's bees and put them into mourning. RIP Cliff.'
George Nobbs, former Labour leader of Norfolk County Council, whom Mr Jordan replaced as leader, said: 'I've lost my old sparring partner and I'll sorely miss him.'
Alan Waters, Labour leader of Norwich City Council, said: 'On behalf of the city council, I am deeply saddened by the news of Cliff's death. He was passionate about Norfolk and a great friend to the city. Our condolences to Cliff's family.'
MIke Smith-Clare, Labour county councillor for Great Yarmouth Nelson and Conservative Lana Hempsall, who represents Acle on Broadland District Council, also tweeted their sadness at Mr Jordan's death.
And Stephen Crocker, chief executive of the Norwich Theatre Royal and Playhouse said Mr Jordan was 'a huge advocate of Norfolk and lover of music and opera' and that his death was a 'tragic loss'.
Norfolk-born Mr Jordan, who had grown-up sons and was a great-grandfather, had been a county councillor for Yare and All Saints since 2001.
He became leader of the Conservative group in March 2015 before becoming council leader in May the following year.
He had served on Breckland District Council from May 1991 until May 2015, and was leader of the authority from 1998 to 2005.
When he announced his resignation due to his cancer diagnosis last month, Mr Jordan, who lived in Dereham, said:'I would like to thank each and every one of you for your dedication, support and friendship over my time serving in local government.
'During this time the Conservatives have achieved great things and I look forward to watching the seeds that we have sewn grow and prosper to make Norfolk the best it can be.
'I step down safe in the knowledge that we have charted the right course and I know that you will continue to share my vision for doing what's best for the people of Norfolk.'
Andrew Proctor, who was elected as his successor, told the full council meeting on June 1 that he always respected Mr Jordan and his commitment to Norfolk, while Labour group leader Steve Morphew and Mick Castle, leader of the independent group, had also paid tribute.
Messages of condolence can be sent to the leader's office, County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich, NR1 2DH and they will be passed on to Mr Jordan's family.