Guernsey Press

Plot to remove E&I is 'personality politics'

MOVES have been made to launch a vote of no confidence in the Environment & Infrastructure committee.

Environment & Infrastructure president Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 31925955)

Some deputies have spent months trying to build support among their colleagues for a motion to remove E&I president Lindsay de Sausmarez and her four members.

Deputy de Sausmarez said yesterday that she was aware and believed that it was ‘entirely motivated by personality politics’.

Policy & Resources president Peter Ferbrache said a no confidence debate would be unjustified and distracting.

‘I have been aware for quite some time that a few deputies have been trying to drum up support for a motion of no confidence in my committee,’ said Deputy de Sausmarez.

‘What is particularly disappointing is that it seems to be entirely motivated by personality politics and very specifically directed at me.

‘In one conversation that was reported to me, a deputy said “we’re going to bring her down”. When asked on what grounds the motion of no confidence would be laid, the reply was, laughingly, “we’ll worry about that later”.

‘I’d like to think the majority of the States would not stoop so low as to support that kind of behaviour.’

States committees can only be removed by members through a motion of no confidence.

Among members of P&R, Deputy Bob Murray said he had heard no suggestion of confidence vote, but Jonathan Le Tocq said he was aware of rumours.

Deputies Mark Helyar and David Mahoney declined to respond to Guernsey Press questions.

Deputy Ferbrache said that no P&R member would support such a motion.

Deputy Ferbrache said that ‘at the moment’ he could not envisage circumstances in which he would vote to remove E&I if the putative motion is submitted to the States.

‘I really think we need stability,’ he said.

‘E&I may be doing some things I do not support, but it is a long way away from a vote of no confidence. I think they are well-intentioned.

‘Let us get on with the many issues before us without such a distraction.’

P&R’s external relations lead Jonathan Le Tocq said he first heard rumours of a motion in E&I months ago and assumed the move had failed.

‘It would be a complete waste of time,’ said Deputy Le Tocq.

‘Generally speaking, such actions tend to divert attention – in terms of the general public, the media and especially politically – away from the more vital issues facing us.

‘We have a relatively small pool of members to fish in, made worse by the fact that a few seem not to wish to engage except on very limited terms.

‘Energies, especially at my age, are best spent seeking to achieve working better alongside elected colleagues rather than emphasising or adding additional divisions.’

Deputy de Sausmarez said motions of no confidence should be reserved for failing committees and that hers was performing well against its mandate.

‘I can only assume that it comes down to a partisan view held by some that the majority of my committee is considered to be “the opposition”,’ she said.

‘I don’t subscribe to this view myself. Personalities should not come into it.

‘Ours is a consensus system of government. It’s important we can work together and in my experience it is usually still the case that we can.

‘Personality politics do not reflect well on the States and it’s not what the electorate expect us to spend our time and energy on. True democracy is allowing all views to be heard, no matter whose views they are.’