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Norfolk councillor faces standards probe

The leader of Norfolk County Council, Derrick Murphy, is to face his authority’s standards committee in the latest development in the row over a BBC interview about the King’s Lynn incinerator.

As MRW reported in August 2012, an investigation found that Murphy was responsible for trying to get a BBC journalist to ask West Norfolk leader Nick Daubney awkward questions about the proposed EfW plant.

Now Murphy will face a standards committee over complaints about the email sent by one of his staff, political assistant Kevin Vaughan, to the local BBC journalist due to interview Daubney about the long-running planning row over the King’s Lynn incinerator.

In the email Vaughan advised the journalist that Daubney, who opposes the building of the incinerator, was facing “a serious leadership challenge” and that his authority had failed to procure alternative technology to the plant.

An investigation into the email by county hall established that Vaughan had been acting on the wishes of Murphy, who supports the building of the incinerator.

The complaints claim Murphy failed to treat a fellow local Conservative district leader with respect and brought the authority into disrepute.

Murphy has temporarily stood aside but Daubney has urged him to resign for “attempting to undermine” him, the BBC reported.

A preliminary investigation into the complaints by QC Jenni Richards has concluded there is a case to answer and she has said Norfolk’s standards committee should hold a hearing at a date not yet decided.

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