‘I would have quit if I thought someone could do better’
GUERNSEY’S most senior politician is set to walk away from politics at the next election.
Speaking as his Policy & Resources Committee teeters on the brink of a no confidence vote next week, and before he is due to meet all deputies on Monday morning, Peter Ferbrache said he was still the man to lead P&R for the next 18 months.
‘I’m not vainglorious. I’m not thinking I’ve got all the wisdom in the world because nobody has,’ he said.
‘But if I thought somebody else could do the job better I would have resigned before now.’
Whatever next week’s no confidence result, Deputy Ferbrache said that he would probably not stand for election again in 2025. He first entered politics in 1994.
‘I don’t think it would shock anyone, but I would put it at 80% to 90% that my life will go in a different direction post-June 2025.
‘And if the vote goes against P&R I won’t throw my toys out of the pram, I will be a conscientious backbencher for the remainder of this term,’ the semi-retired lawyer said.
Deputy Ferbrache said that he did not intend to use Monday’s private meeting to pitch to remain as P&R president.
He hoped the meeting at Beau Sejour would be a chance to bring together an increasingly divided States Assembly.
‘Whatever the result on Wednesday, the States have got to let the dust settle and talk constructively over the next 18 months, which is what’s left of this term, on a whole variety of major, major issues,’ said Deputy Ferbrache.
‘That’s the sole purpose of my meeting, to get people’s views and to start talking. There is honestly no political gain for the current members of P&R.’
‘Since I became president three years ago, my door has always been open. But obviously that message somewhere along the line has been mislaid or misunderstood.
‘So this is a chance to say it again, because if we [the current P&R committee] are not there on Thursday the Bailiwick still will be and it’s problems are not going anywhere. I would hope at the end there would be a consensus for us to all work together whoever is in charge.’
Not everyone believes Deputy Ferbrache’s sentiments for the meeting.
Deputy Carl Meerveld – an outspoken recent critic of P&R – confirmed he would attend and said he believed most deputies who were available would be there despite the short notice. He added that he believed the meeting was a ‘last-ditch desperate attempt to stay in power’.
‘If he was truly listening and wanted members to “meet together in every sense of that phrase”, why was this meeting not held after the third failed attempt to introduce GST or immediately after the motion of no confidence was published? I believe this will be considered ‘too little, too late’ by most members and smacks of desperation.’