I can't rule out standing - Treasury minister

TREASURY minister Gavin St Pier yesterday refused to rule himself out of the running to be the next chief minister.

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Having previously distanced himself from seeking the role, he has been faced in the last two days with significant lobbying to stand.

Social Security minister Allister Langlois’s nomination went in officially yesterday, with clear splits emerging in the Policy Council over who to back.

Deputy St Pier, pictured, said that his preferred choice was to stay at Treasury and support current deputy chief minister Jonathan Le Tocq for the top job.

But if Deputy Le Tocq decided not to run, that could all change.

Asked if he would stand if Deputy Le Tocq did not, he said: ‘I can’t really comment on that until we know what his position is and whether anyone else is going to step forward.

‘My preferred position is to stay at Treasury, I’d like to finish what I started, but it’s a question of what unfolds in the next few days. I guess I can’t rule anything out.’

Comments for: "I can't rule out standing - Treasury minister"

Sam

Gavin please stand, we need someone of integrity who is open and transparent and respected by both states members and the public. Those whose names have gone forward so far, Trott, Le Tocq, langlois do not hole the public respect to any great degree

markB

Are there no English men standing?

King Maker

For goodness sakes, either stick with your responsibility, which is a key role, or stand - don't play games. Don't let your ego run wild, its your first time with the States so show you have the right temperament to stay as Treasury Minister and see this role through as continuity in such a responsible job is essential. Don't stand as you wont win and further more you will then be subject to ridicule.

Andy

I cant work out whom I am going to upset if I stand and lose is probably the real conundrum.

Anyone But Trott

Says it all...

Grippios

Sort Income tax dept out first!!

Local

Exactly!

Get your own house in order before you take on anything else or trying to advise others on how to run theirs!

What a joke!

Jon

The 4 year rule needs to be brought back.

guernseyal

Didn't anyone learn the lesson that it is a necessity that a deputy serve at least 1 term before aiming for the top job? We need a) experience, and b) time for any skeletons to appear. If Dep. Harwood had not been top dog would Private Eye have even bothered to run the story, and even if they had the fallout would have been minimal in comparison.

Also adding my favourite reminder… don’t forget GSP wants to abolish mortgage tax relief – something not even hinted at in his manifesto or anywhere else before getting voted in. That came as a complete surprise – and not all surprises are nice, so what other ideas are waiting inside his head?

Walrus

Agreed, GSP can jog on.

mrspinthepoliticalmagazine

Couldn't agree more guernseyal, but 'we' just don't learn do 'we'?

(by 'we' obviously I mean the power seeking accountability dodgers in charge)

Bring back the 4 year rule and I'd also say choose someone that isn't a minister now, otherwise the abandoned role and department left behind is then going to have a great excuse to under-perform for the next 2 years.................

Seagull

So Langlois is standing for CM but is stepping down at the next election ? Pointless !!! ONLY IN IT FOR THE MONEY !!!!!

Id stick Matt in, young, bright, one of the few that connects well with the public and appears to want to be around in the States for a while

GM

Seagull

I agree with you re Langlois. Totally pointless. Is clearly only after the money or on an ego trip.

Definitely not Matt Fallaize though. He's a serial quitter whenever the going gets tough, and the last thing we would need is a further CM election during the remainder of this term!

GM

What I find very amusing is the number of deputies who have "ruled themselves out" for the Chief Minister role. I really don't think that the likes of Lester Queripel, Mike O'Hara, Mary Lowe and Sandra James need to worry about being in the frame!

Allister Langlois? God help us.

Jonathan Le Tocq? What has he ever actually achieved?

Lyndon Trott? Maybe a case of "better the devil you know".

Dave Jones? A real shame that he won't stand.

Gavin St Pier ? Far too vital that he carries on at T&R.

Paul Luxon? Wouldn't have been a bad option but seemingly not interested.

A sad indictment of the calibre of the current House. I suspect Trott will get it by default as the proven "safe pair of hands".

Island Wide Voting

I suppose the difficulty with some deputies is the fact that someone comes along, shoves a notebook and pencil under their nose and asks 'Do you intend to put your name forward?'

I suppose there will be some clawback if Trott slips in by default in that Aurigny bookings will shoot through the roof

He might even cross with Digger Domaille on his way back to collect his next pay cheque

kevin

Who is Sandra James?

Agreed on Dave Jones - one of the few that genuinely seems to have Guernsey's best interests at heart whilst also able to recognise that there is life beyond the finance sector.

GM

Kevin

A good question as she has a low profile.

Sandra James was a member of HSSD until she resigned a couple of months back.

Gavin St Pier

Thank you to all those inside and outside the States who have contacted me by email, by phone or by having posted on social media their encouragement for me to stand as Chief Minister. I have been left in no doubt, that if I decide to run, I would have strong, possibly very strong, support from many of my colleagues.

If this important decision were about my personal ambition, status and a larger pay cheque, it would already have been made and my name would have gone forward. But it’s not. My role at Treasury is a critical role in our present system of government. Not only that, but we are on the midst of some important work: in the short term, bringing our budget out of deficit; funding our capital programme; refinancing our existing stock of public sector debt; redefining the role of Contingency Reserve in our finances; and, of course, of great significance for our future in the long term, the delivery of a diversified and balanced tax, pensions and benefits system fit for 2025, capable of sustainably funding decent public services for an aging population.

With that agenda, my personal preference would be to remain at Treasury to finish what I have started and to see the Deputy Chief Minister, Jon Le Tocq become Chief Minister. The Deputy Chief Minister’s role has no raison d’etre other than to fill in, in the Chief Minister’s absence. Jon has done this, when required, quietly and competently in the last 2 years in the Policy Council Room, in the States of Deliberation and on national and international stages. I have no doubt he could now step up to do so for the remainder of the term.

The present Chief Minister’s great achievement has been to ensure that egos are parked at the entrance to the Policy Council Room; and he has ensured collegiate decision making in a system without collective responsibility. These attributes are key in a system which requires the Chief Minister to lead without authority. Policy Council has developed a good rapport and team dynamic and this should not be imperilled. Jon would maintain this dynamic and ensure continuity.

But if Jon will not stand, it is important that we fill the void and go forwards and not backwards. I actually sense very little appetite across the States to go back, even less so from those elected before 2012. Given the vote for change in that election, I think the 2016 electorate would be uncomprehending and perhaps unforgiving of those that supported such a step.

Whatever my decision, it will disappoint some. However, I hope that it will be respected as a finely balanced judgement about from which seat I can best serve Guernsey in the next two years.

Island Wide Voting

Sounds like Gavin has a lot on his plate,which means that Trott who has deliberately avoided having ANYTHING on his plate in the last two years might creep in just as he did when coming sixth out of six in his mini district in 2012

Dave Jones

IWV

That is not strictly true, Lyndon has been helping behind the scenes with issues outside the Island and met with Peter and his staff on a number of occasions as Dep Harwood would confirm.

Also he is of course on the board of Guernsey finance which is also helping to bring new bussiness to the island and he has just been elected to the Constitutional working party along with Deputy Perrot.

Finally, and to be fair, I don't think Ministers were queuing up to ask Lyndon to serve on department boards just after the new States was formed and he has been quite active in debates as a back bencher.

Dave Jones

I disagree with Gavin on one issue and that is his view that we can’t go back.

Breaking the four year rule was part of the problem we face now and I would like to see that rule re-instated.

Also we need experience now to take us through this next two years. This administration has been in turmoil almost from day one in my view and as the longest serving Minister in the States I think I am qualified to comment.

From the Lagan fraud to the problems at Health with the loss of one Health Minister and a VONC in his successor, in addition the loss of all our senior civil servants at the PC and a very experienced civil servant at T&R who also left his job and now this last week the loss of our Chief Minister.

Public confidence has been shattered further as these events have unfolded as they try and get on with their lives amid all this turbulence.

Also I would ask how those who joined the States at the beginning of this term and who are considering standing for the CM's role, where they have suddenly acquired all this knowledge on our external affairs and our constitutional position to the important level where they feel confident to represent and safeguard the islands position and interests?

I have ruled myself firmly out of this CM race because I recognise that I don’t have the skills or the experience to do the top job and that is after 14 years in the States and 10 years as a Minister around the Policy Council table in addition to serving for the same period on the External Relations Group and yet after two years some potential candidates believe they have enough to do the job which is why I cannot support them.

We were told it was going to be a Sarnia spring, it is starting to look like Sarnian blizzard.

Sean McManus

As ever, Dave's comments reflect the common sense and political experience we'd expect from a man with plenty of both.

Jack

So seany baby you taking notes and intending to stand again at next election. Please though don't encourage your partner, that would be horrific

Bullsh*t_An_Fag_ends

Mr St Pier.

Please, SIT DOWN, for all our sakes.

The Lagan debacle tarnished your apparent stance on 'accountability' in a spectacular way, very early on in your new political career to forget your manifesto so conveniently, thus, in my mind, and in the minds of many, bringing into question what other pledges you made whilst electioneering to get your position you might also conveniently forget, now you've achieved your goal.

Just to add insult to injury, according to the company that recommended the additional security measures to ensure such a total travesty NEVER happened again, to date, your department has still entirely FAILED to implement many of their recommendations (in a report, may I add, commissioned at considerable expense to us).

- please confirm or deny this. The facts are online anyway, and easy to verify.

More importantly, I don't care how many of your alleged 'supporters' are keen for you to stand, we have and always have had a 4 year rule. We broke it to get Harwood in, which got us nowhere, and I would like to know what makes you so very special that you are proposing, should you choose to stand, that we break that rule again.

As DJ so succinctly put it...

'I would ask how those who joined the States at the beginning of this term and who are considering standing for the CM's role, where they have suddenly acquired all this knowledge on our external affairs and our constitutional position to the important level where they feel confident to represent and safeguard the islands position and interests'?

- I look forward to your response.

I have noted on another thread that one of your own colleagues states you have connections with the CISX which are less obvious than Mr Harwoods involvement, but nevertheless, are there. Any chance that a whiff of the CISX affair could damage us even further, in particular, if it involves the 'new' CM.

- please confirm or deny to what extent you are involved in the CISX and/or it's activities.

And lastly, just on a personal note, could you please just explain why, exactly, your home is held in Trust, as clearly stated on your Declared Interests?

It all seems a tad strange to me.

What exactly is the necessity for that? What are the benefits?

Is it something we should all consider doing before you get your way and remove mortgage relief?

- I look forward to your response.

Bullsh*t_An_Fag_ends

No answers to my pretty straightforward questions, then, Mr SP?

I rest my case.

Now go help sort out that nice sales tax to keep we revolting peasants in our places, and your department not having to sully their hands with such trivia as cut backs or any form of fiscal stringency when it comes to spending - and giving away - our money.

StonedeC

You've obviously rattled our T&R minister with this outburst - his silence is almost deafening.

Anyone can find Mr St Pier's interests here:

http://www.gov.gg/Declaration-of-Interest-from-States-Members-May-2012

A reply to the questions above would be appreciated otherwise we'll all have to believe Mr St Pier is another who should be questioning his role as a deputy?

Gavin St Pier

All the recommendations from the internal audit and Ernst & Young reports have been or are being implemented; I have no and never have had any dealings with the CISX; our property is held in trust simply because with 3 young children, at the time (before the rules were changed a couple of years ago to effectively abolish Guernsey's forced heirship rules and allow full freedom to gift as you wish by your Will) it was the only way to ensure that assets could be managed as we would wish in the event of our deaths.

Dave Jones

I would add that never mind the 2016 electorate the present electorate is scratching its head wondering what happend to their so called vote for change. The people I talk to in the community are at a point of despair with this present States and all the turmoil that has occurred in two short years

If they did vote for change they did not vote for this.

Finally I too have had lots of calls and a considerable number of e.mails a couple of those calls are asking me why I am backing Lyndon Trott.

Well two reasons really he has the expireence of both senior roles and nobody would have to move from there present positions which I think is by far the best outcome mid term as they are all doing a good job right now and secondly Lyndon saw through four years at T&R and another full term as Chief Minister, in fact the only CM who has out of all four of the CM's the island has had.

I served with Lyndon and I can only speak as I find, he was compitant, self assertive and confident in his roll and unfortunatly that on many occasions was mistaken for arrogance.

It is not any easy job to do and I can only speak as I find, I think all of you know enough about me, to know I would be honest with the electorate if that was not the case and he had been rubbish in that role.

So all of you who dislike Lyndon are free now to beat up on me and I will as usual take it on the chin.

Election Issues

Deputy Jones

You are right, people are in despair with the present States. There is a lack of openness, transparency and accountability.

Deputy-Elect Peter Harwood put his name forward to become Chief Minister saying he would represent a 'clean slate' in the States. However, the 4 year rule should not have been changed with such haste and it certainly should never have been changed in such a way AFTER the election in 2012.

If everyone had been fully aware that the 4 year rule was going to be changed, then the whole complexion of the 2012 Election may have been very different with more candidates standing and the electorate voting in an entirely different way.

Even if the 4 year rule is considered a poor rule by some, it should never have been changed just for one individual, no matter how highly regarded they were or how perfect they appeared to be for the post of CM.

Island Wide Voting

If one of the criteria for a new CM is that the candidate should carry no baggage,and the baggage which appears to have caused Mr Harwood's demise is his many Directorships,a quick Google of 'The States of Guernsey declaration of interests' site would indicate that someone like Laurie Bryn Queripel would fit the bill admirably as the word 'None' appears a dozen or more times on his declaration form

That can't be said for St P or Trott

Dave Jones

IWV

I think the difference is that Peter was head of the GFSC and a director of the CiXS when there were clearly regulatory problems that caused the temporary closure of one and triggered an investigation by the other.

I don't think that Gavin or Lyndon are in quite the same position, the problem is that in a small community is that if you want people of calibre to stand for public office then we have to expect that they will probably have interests outside of the States.

If you go back in time, nearly all the senior politicians had numerous directorships and as far as I recall it was never a huge problem.

Peter found himself in a unique position and he did what he believed was best for the Island, I wish had not but I understand compleatly why he did it.

zab

In my opinion it is not the perceived personal failings, fingers in pies etc doing the rounds here that are the issue, though I don't them. My issue with all the policy council members past and present is the is the right wing policies that don't work for the likes of me, the prospect of having more of the same quite frankly makes me want to vomit. I do not believe they are capable of doing a good job or are indeed doing one. There is no loyalty to this island or it's people only the wish to spin reality to con the electorate into thinking that things may improve whilst actively pursing an agenda to worsen the lot of islanders generally for the benefit of increasing the wealth divide. The sooner this island becomes a two or three party state the better as the current single one is pretty malodourous at the moment.

Laurie Queripel

Hi Zab

I think you have made some fair points here although I wouldn't go as far as wanting 3 political parties. If the UK and the US are anything to go by the party system hardly leads to social justice/equality or progressive policies.

There isn't really one party here as we all stand as independents and are free to speak, act and vote according to our conscience. Admittedly if you are not careful/vigilant it is possible to find yourself going with the flow or defending your department when it comes under fire when actually, at times, there are very real reasons why you should not. States members need to regularly remind themselves of the code of conduct rule that says the primary duty of members is to act in the public interest.

I suspect the deputies who have declared themselves as candidates for the chief minister position are capable of carrying out the role but for the reasons you gave I am not particularly inspired by them. It seems the very nature of the job attracts politicians with a certain political leaning. I think it is much harder to remain an individual, be outspoken or take a particular stance when elected to a senior position - although Dave J seems to manage it quite well!

I would like to see Dave Jones put himself forward but can understand his reasons for not doing so. Although Chris Green seems to have ruled himself out and may be an unlikely choice I like his balanced approach. He understands how vital economic prosperity is for Guernsey, not for the sake of it but because it will enable the funding and progress of social policy.

Thanks for the mention IWV. It was always my intention, if elected, to void myself of interests/conflict so that I could be as free as possible to play the fullest part I could in all things States of Guernsey.