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Suffolk: Second cabinet member sacked after failed leadership challenge

08:00 16 April 2014

Richard Smith has been sacked from Suffolk County Council

Richard Smith has been sacked from Suffolk County Council's cabinet.

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A second county council cabinet member has been sacked after last week’s challenge to the leadership of Mark Bee.

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Cabinet member for planning Richard Smith, who proposed Colin Noble in his challenge for Mr Bee’s position, was removed from the cabinet during a meeting at Endeavour House.

He said: “It was not brutal. I had a meeting with Mark and there were no raised voices, but he made it clear I would no longer be in the cabinet.

“I would have thought that as Mark Bee has such a narrow victory he would reach out to us, but he does not see it that way.”

He sent a message to other councillors saying: “I have worked hard over the last ten-and-a-half months and greatly enjoyed the work. It is for others to decide whether I enjoyed any success in the post, but I did enjoy the challenge it offered.

“I have no regrets whatsoever in proposing and supporting Colin Noble’s candidature and realise that I have paid the price for being on the side which narrowly lost.

“I want to pay a warm tribute to Anne Gower who has served as my Deputy and had been a tower of strength and wisdom to me.”

Mr Smith and Mr Noble were the only members of the cabinet not to support Mr Bee and both have paid with their jobs.

The other five cabinet members wrote letters to members of the Conservative group urging them to support Mr Bee in his battle for re-election.

A full cabinet restructuring is expected to be announced by Mr Bee after the Easter break.

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