Council leader offers to end feud with his local MP

Tim Adams has said he will not communicate with Duncan Baker for two months 

Tim Adams has said he will not communicate with Duncan Baker for two months - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk council leader is looking to end a long-running feud with his local MP, which had seen him refuse to talk to him.

Tim Adams, leader of North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) ended all communications with Duncan Baker, the area's MP, around 12 weeks ago.

The dispute started over comments made by an ex-Conservative party member towards a Liberal Democrat councillor on social media that Mr Adams branded “misogynistic”.

At the time, Mr Adams alleged the MP was not taking his concerns seriously, while Mr Baker argued he was not accountable for members of the public.

The council leader has now written to Mr Baker asking to sit down with him to discuss how they can “create a better kind of politics in Norfolk” saying there had been a “growing undercurrent of nastiness”.

He said: “Year-on-year our councillors have come under increasing abuse, threats and violence, and this is completely unacceptable.

“We need to change the nature of how we conduct the business of the council, and how our political associates and councillors behave.” 

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He called on the MP to take a stronger lead on how the Conservative party conducts itself and to create a “calmer and more cohesive political landscape”. 

Responding to the letter, Mr Baker said: “I welcome Cllr Adam’s change of heart in now finally agreeing to meet with me to discuss the important issues which matter to north Norfolk residents.

“I’ve always wanted to work with him when he refused to meet me.” 

However, Mr Baker returned to concerns he has previously raised over a controversial £30,000 contract awarded by NNDC’s Lib Dem administration in 2019 to an associate of one of the party's then councillors.

A police investigation found no evidence of wrong doing, but Mr Baker said questions remained and that he would raise them when he next meets with Mr Adams.

NNDC’s leader previously said he accepted an external audit report into the contract and the recommendations it made.

He said the council has worked to address shortcomings and that the issues occurred some time ago.