West Norfolk Labour leader resigns, claiming report was “doctored”

James Moriarty, who has reasigned as leader of the Labour group on West Norfolk council

James Moriarty, who has reasigned as leader of the Labour group on West Norfolk council - Credit: Archant


Priory Ward councillor Jim Moriarty says he was asked by a scrutiny panel of the council to set up a working party to explore alternative ways of dealing with waste if the existing contract with Material Works, which is hoping to build a recycling centre near King's Lynn, fails to proceed.

But he claims papers obtained via a freedom of information request show it was 'doctored by officers' so he could be removed from the group. Minutes from a regeneration and environment panel meeting, on October 30, originally said that the 'informal working group' would have four members.

But Mr Moriarty claims this was amended in a report to the following month's meeting of the panel, to state the four members should be chosen from five who had expressed an interest, after intervention from council leader Nick Daubney.

He added: 'They are supposed to be impartial and as I no longer believe they operate in an even-handed fashion when it come to me, I can no longer operate effectively as the leader of the opposition.'

Mr Moriarty said he had been told that a complaint he had made against Mr Daubney, alleging he had used council-funded facilities for a constituency meeting, would not be investigated.

Mr Daubney said: 'I have opinions on reports like any other councillor and I have as much right to express my opinion on reports.

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'If he feels he has a complaint, we have procedures in placfe to deal with that.'

There will now be an election to choose who the next leader of the 12-strong Labour group on the council will be. Mr Moriarty's resignation become effective from the end of this month.

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