MPs hit back at criticism from Norfolk County Council leader
A row has broken out after Norfolk County Council’s leader accused the county’s MPs of not doing enough for the county they represent in Westminster.
Cliff Jordan mounted the extraordinary attack during a live BBC Radio Norfolk interview on Thursday, as debate continues over how the county should be run in the future.
Earlier this month, South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss declared her support for proposals to split the county into two unitary councils.
But Mr Jordan, who says he favours a single unitary authority, accused her of “knocking” the county.
He said: “Liz is alright, but she knocks Norfolk too much. She runs Norfolk down.”
“I’m working really hard to bring Norfolk up. I’m so fed up with people running it down.”
But Ms Truss said today: “I believe there are too many layers of local government and the west of the county loses out.
“I have said publicly that in order to deliver better services for Norfolk residents, improve efficiency and accountability, that there should be two unitary authorities in the county, west and east.”
The row has led to calls for Mr Jordan to be suspended from the Conservative party.
But Mr Jordan has refused to back down, even though he admits it may cost him his job.
He said: “Our MPs need to back us a lot harder than they have been.
“I get really fed up with them because they cost Norfolk people a lot of money. They need to earn their corn.
“I think they’ve been knocking Norfolk for too long.”
“Somebody has got to tell them up your game. Norfolk deserves better and you’re not up to it.”
However, although he was personally praised by Mr Jordan, North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham was also critical of the comments.
He said he had tried to work closely with the authority regardless of which party was running County Hall.
He added: “People can criticise Norfolk MPs for many things but not for failing to stand up for Norfolk.”