The leader of Norfolk County Council has resigned from the post with immediate effect.
Derrick Murphy stepped down as leader today, stating he was now concentrating on his efforts to fight a forthcoming Standards Committee hearing into complaints brought against him.
The complaints centre around an email sent by a member of the council’s staff concerning one of Mr Murphy’s political counterparts.
Mr Murphy said in a message to county councillors: “As you may imagine my preparation for the Standards Committee hearing is taking a considerable amount of my time and attention at a time in the year when as leader I should be focused on working with my Cabinet to prepare for the 2013 Budget.
“It is my hope and expectation that I will clear my name and return to the position as leader, but in the meantime, I am standing down as leader of the County Council with immediate effect for what I regard as a temporary period of absence.”