Ex council boss Derrick Murphy opts not to stand in upcoming elections

The former leader of Norfolk County Council has announced he and his wife will not stand for election in May.

Derrick Murphy, who was found to have breached the council’s code of conduct at a standards hearing last week, had already quit as chairman of the Conservative group.

Mr Murphy, who currently represents Freebridge Lynn, had still been due to stand as a councillor in the Forehoe division in the upcoming county council elections, but announced yesterday that he would not be doing so.

And his wife, Janet, who represents Gayton and Nar Valley, but had been due to fight for a seat in Clavering, will now no longer stand either.

At a standards hearing on Friday, Mr Murphy was cleared of six out of seven alleged breaches of the council’s code of conduct.

The controversy surrounded an email sent by Kevin Vaughan - the political assistant to the Conservative group at County Hall - to BBC Radio Norfolk in April last year.

Peter Stebbings, chairman of the South Norfolk Conservative Association, said: “As an association our priority will be to put first-class replacement candidates in place well before the official campaign period begins next month.

“I am pleased to confirm that we have already made substantial progress towards this end.

“The selection of these new candidates is an internal Conservative Party process and until that process is complete there will be no further public comment.”