BREAKING NEWS: Norfolk County Council leader resigns on health grounds
The leader of Norfolk County Council has announced his resignation this afternoon on health grounds.
Cliff Jordan, who has led the authority for the past two years, has revealed he is standing down with immediate effect after he was diagnosed with lung cancer yesterday.
In a statement to his Conservative group colleagues, released a short time ago, he said he had taken the decision to quit both as leader and as a councillor in order to focus on his recovery from what he described as the "devastating" news.
He said: “I would like to thank each and every one of you for your dedication, support and friendship over my time serving in local government.
"During this time the Conservatives have achieved great things and I look forward to watching the seeds that we have sewn grow and prosper to make Norfolk the best it can be.
“I step down safe in the knowledge that we have charted the right course and I know that you will continue to share my vision for doing what’s best for the people of Norfolk."
Current deputy leader Alison Thomas will serve as acting council leader until the authority meets to confirm a full-time successor. At present, the next full council meeting is scheduled for late July, but a special meeting could be held before then.
Mrs Thomas said: “I have had the pleasure of working with Cliff Jordan as his deputy for the past three years and consider him not just a colleague but one of my closest friends.
“Cliff has cared so much for the county, now it is time for the county to care for him.
“I will miss working with him and the humour he brought to our everyday deliberations, but will do my utmost to ensure his vision and aspirations for the county are delivered."
Mr Jordan has served as a councillor for 27 years since he was first elected to Breckland Council in 1991.
He led the district for seven years between 1998 and 2005 and was elected to the county council for the first time in 2001.
He became Conservative group leader in 2015 and took over as council leader the following year.