Fakenham councillor Tom Fitzpatrick has been elected leader of the Conservative Group at Norfolk County Council.
He saw off the only other candidate, incumbent Bill Borrett –the man seen by many as the chief supporter for the incinerator at County Hall – in a secret ballot.
Mr Fitzpatrick, who will serve a one-year term is already leader of North Norfolk Council.
He said, “I am honoured and delighted to have my colleagues’ trust, confidence and support to lead the Group for the year ahead.
The Conservative group has remained a strong force in opposition, and I look forward to continuing to build on this strength and to take the group forward, delivering on the promises we made in our manifesto.
“I know there will be speculation about any changes to the Conservative front-bench but I will be working with the group in the coming days with an announcement to follow as soon as possible.
“I would like to thank Bill for the time he served as group leader and hope to build on the foundation he has laid for the group.”
Mr Borrett thanked the members of the Conservative group for the support that they have offered him over the last year and congratulated Mr Fitzpatrick.