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INQUIRY: 'I stand by my decisions,' says Frank Walker

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FORMER Chief Minister Frank Walker says he will stand by the decision to suspend ex-police chief Graham Power 'forever and a day' despite the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry's criticism of the way it was handled.

And Mr Walker, who served as Chief Minister from 2005 to 2008, says if he had his time again he would also still take steps to remove former Senator Stuart Syvret as Health Minister.

The panel concluded that in both cases Mr Walker and others involved, including former Home Affairs Minister Andrew Lewis, had not sought to remove the men from their posts to cover up child abuse.

The panel did not look into the issues behind Mr Syvret's removal from office further but concluded that Mr Power's suspension had been badly handled.

Mr Walker has now urged the States to ensure that the resources are found to implement the panel's recommendations fully and as soon as possible.

'I guess the most worrying part of the report is that children may even now be at risk, and that is extremely disappointing,' he said.

'They are good, strong, considered recommendations and I am delighted to hear the Chief Minister already say that they will all be acted upon.'

He added: 'Having spent 20-something million pounds on the inquiry we can't stop there. It would be a travesty and a total waste of money if having spent that very considerable sum we then didn't find the additional resources needed to give the recommendations real momentum and ensure they are fully put in place in the shortest possible time-scale.'

Commenting on the suspension of Mr Power, he said: 'I will maintain forever and a day that the decision to suspend him was the right one.'

In relation to Mr Syvret, he added: 'I would take the same decision.'

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