Norfolk County Council leader re-elected amid divisions in ruling alliance

George Nobbs (leader of County Council) ENGANL00120131028141226
George Nobbs (leader of County Council) ENGANL00120131028141226
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Labour’s George Nobbs has been narrowly re-elected as Norfolk County Council leader this morning.

Mr Nobbs, who has led the authority since an alliance of his party, the Liberal Democrats and UKIP was formed after the 2013 elections, retained the post by 42 votes to 39 at a meeting in Norwich.

But there were signs of division in the alliance as UKIP’s Matthew Smith opposed Mr Nobbs’ re-election and instead supported Cliff Jordan, leader of the opposition Conservative group.

Following the vote, Mr Smith took to Twitter to explain his stance, saying: “Cannot vote for an alliance with Stand Up to UKIP and Hope Not Hate members.”

Liberal Democrat Dan Roper, who served in the alliance’s cabinet before the council switched to a committee system of governance last year, was elected as deputy leader.

UKIP’s Rex Parkinson-Hare, was made the authority’s chairman for the coming year, succeeding the Liberal Democrats’ Brian Hannah. He previously served as vice-chairman under Mr Hannah.

His new vice-chairman is David Collis, Labour’s councillor for the King’s Lynn North and Central division.