Conservative headquarters asked to investigate Norfolk County Council leader’s comments about MPs
PUBLISHED: 18:54 16 March 2018 | UPDATED: 18:54 16 March 2018
Archant Norfolk 2017
Conservative headquarters have been asked to investigate whether the leader of Norfolk County Council brought his party into disrepute through his blistering criticism of Tory MPs.
A letter, signed by a “handful” of senior Norfolk Tories, has been sent to the party’s London central office following comments by Conservative County Hall leader Cliff Jordan in an interview on BBC Radio Norfolk.
In the interview, Mr Jordan criticised some of his own party’s MPs as “also-rans”, who were not doing enough to support him.
He specifically criticised South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss, who, as chief secretary to the treasury has a key role over funding for local government, and said he had only once met his own party’s chairman, Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis.
The letter, which has been sent to Conservative headquarters, requests that the party considers whether there is a case to answer that Mr Jordan has brought his party into disrepute and whether sanctions would be appropriate.
Mr Jordan has stood by his comments, which he said were triggered when South Norfolk Council leader, fellow Conservative John Fuller, suggested that Norfolk’s reputation had been damaged by turning down the devolution deal.
He said: “I know I have not brought my party into disrepute, but I cannot stop people doing what they do. I know there’s been three of them who have been plotting against me for three years or so now.”
He said he felt there was a 70pc chance that he would not remain leader of the council much longer, but that he did not intend to step aside.
And he said he had the support of his local association and members of the public. He said: “I had a bloke from France phoned me up to say ‘well done’.
Meanwhile, Mr Fuller has taken issue with Mr Jordan’s claim that he had said the doors for Norfolk were closed at central government.
He said: “I observed it was frustrating that Norfolk missed out on a number of opportunities, but never said ministerial doors were closed in London.
“I am there at least two days a week representing Norfolk and other councils in my roles leading local government finance and for the district councils’ network on the Local Government Association.”