Deputy accused of ‘trolling’ social media users

THE GUERNSEY Party is investigating allegations that one of its members has been using a pseudonym on social media to troll former politicians and members of the public.

Deputy Chris Le Tissier has been accused of making crass comments under the pseudonym The Pirate, with the Twitter handle Radiosutch299.

Through this account Dr Gilly Carr, who is the Channel Islands representative on the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, was told that she was ‘not local’ and should ‘just leave Guernsey alone’.

Dr Carr has been campaigning to clear the names of the Guernsey policemen who were convicted during the Occupation.

Deputy Gavin St Pier was also told that he was not local by Radiosutch299.

The account expresses some very strong views about what being ‘local’ in Guernsey means.

‘I am true Guernsey. Nil, zero, nada, nul connections with the UK. YMMV (your mileage may vary).'

The account also communicates ideas about equality.

When Karen Blanchford from the Guernsey Disability Alliance posted the findings of a report from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association on how to promote participation of women and people with disabilities in elections, the reaction from The Pirate was: ‘Women were free to fully participate in the election. What is their beef?’

The Pirate has been linked to a YouTube video from 2015 featuring Deputy Le Tissier. That video has now been removed.

The Twitter account has been deleted.

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Deputy Le Tissier is a member of the Development & Planning Authority and Home Affairs committee, which has responsibility for the island’s police force.

Despite repeated attempts yesterday, Deputy Le Tissier could not be contacted for a comment.

Guernsey Party chairman, Tory Russell, gave a short comment on the matter.

‘We have a code of conduct and we are following our procedures.

'We are investigating and I do not have a comment to make at this time.’

Questions put to the Guernsey Party about the appropriateness of a deputy using a pseudonym, and how it reflected on other members, all went unanswered.

Before entering office all deputies have to take an oath, which includes a promise to act with integrity, honesty, openness and accountability.

The States’ Assembly & Constitution Committee is responsible for formulating the conduct rules which govern the Assembly.

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The role of enforcing them falls to a separate independent panel when a complaint is made.

Speaking in a personal capacity, Deputy Carl Meerveld, the president of Sacc, said the rules were clear.

‘If what is being alleged is correct it would come under the code of conduct procedures.

‘As an individual deputy, not as president of Sacc, I believe that all deputies have a responsibility to own their actions and their words, and I would be disappointed if a colleague was making provocative statements under a pseudonym.

‘The code of conduct covers what is considered to be appropriate behaviour for deputies and that would cover acting in a way that doesn’t bring the States into disrepute.’

The panel has a range of options if someone is found in breach, from a caution up to recommending someone is removed from a particular office or expulsion.

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