WEST NORFOLK: Leader ‘told assistant to lie’ – report
The former leader of Norfolk County Council told a council employee to lie about the source of an email about West Norfolk Council’s leadership which was sent to a radio host.
That is one of the findings of the independent inquiry into the conduct of Freebridge Lynn councillor Derrick Murphy, which has now been published ahead of next week’s standards committee hearing.
The report by Jenni Richards QC found it had been Mr Murphy’s idea for Tory political assistant, Kevin Vaughan, to email BBC Radio Norfolk’s Nick Conrad last April.
The document came to light after a Freedom of Information request by borough council leader Nick Daubney.
The report said: “In a conversation on 24 April, Cllr Murphy told Mr Vaughan to say that councillors who sit on the county council and the borough council requested this information be provided to the BBC, rather than Cllr Murphy.”
In doing so, Ms Richards found Mr Murphy did not treat Mr Vaughan with respect, by telling him to say something he knew to be untrue.
The report also said Mr Murphy gave “misleading” and “evasive” answers when he was questioned by the chief executive, David White.
But Ms Richards said sending the email did not itself amount to a breach of councillors’ code of conduct.
Mr Murphy quit as county council leader earlier this month ahead of the hearing next Friday. He has insisted he expects to clear his name and return to the role.
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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