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New leader of North Norfolk Conservatives to be announced ‘within the next week’

PUBLISHED: 12:47 03 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:06 03 January 2020

MP Duncan Baker. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

MP Duncan Baker. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

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A newly-elected MP is set to officially resign as leader of the opposition at a district council.

MP Duncan Baker. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMP Duncan Baker. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Duncan Baker triumphed on election night as control of north Norfolk was taken from the hands of the Liberal Democrats after long-standing MP Sir Norman Lamb decided to step down.

After the election, Mr Baker announced that he would not be stepping down from his position as a councillor at North Norfolk District Council (NNDC)- but he will resign his role as Conservative group opposition leader.

Mr Baker said: "I am still resigning. We have a group meeting coming up next week when we expect to elect a new group leader.

"We have a proper notice period but with the festive period we have struggled to get everybody around the table."

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Conservative members in NNDC will vote between them for a new leader.

Mr Baker will receive a £5,254 members' allowance, along with his £79,468 MP salary.

MPs are not legally required to resign from any council position if they are elected to Parliament, but it is unusual for them not to.

When Mr Baker announced he would resign, a spokesperson for North Norfolk Conservatives said: "Following Duncan Baker's election as the new MP for North Norfolk last week, he has confirmed that he will step down as opposition leader at North Norfolk District Council, but will continue as a district councillor.

"There are several instances of MPs sitting both as MPs and councillors. These include the former Colchester MP Bob Russell, who held such a dual mandate from 1997 to 2002, and Mike Hancock who was MP for Portsmouth South for 18 years and remained a councillor on Portsmouth City Council for 17 of those."

He added that Mr Baker would "ensure a smooth transition with the other members of his group, but continue as the district councillor for Holt, having been elected in May of this year".


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