Tensions still simmer in Council of Ministers

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TENSIONS in the Council of Ministers caused by differing opinions over the Jersey Innovation Fund, the ministerial future of Senator Philip Ozouf and divisions over funding the new hospital have settled but not gone away, the JEP understands.

With nine months of the current political term remaining, ministers say they are committed to working together in the best interests of the Island.

However, cracks remain in the council over a number of key issues and the fall-out from the challenges earlier this year continues to have a lasting impact.

And while Chief Minister Ian Gorst does currently have the support of his ministers, the JEP understands that the council would not be unanimous in backing him to continue in the role for the next political term.

It is also understood that he has been warned that he may not survive another controversy.

In May, just weeks before a vote of no-confidence debate in Senator Gorst – which he went on to survive – the JEP revealed that cracks were beginning to appear in the Council of Ministers which threatened to undermine ministerial government.

Ten weeks on, when asked about the atmosphere within the council, Home Affairs Minister Kristina Moore said ministers were committed to working together for the rest of the term.

'I have been very disappointed by some people's approach and behaviour but equally I can accept that they have a different opinion to me,' she said.

'And we all have to pull together and work together because that is in the best interests of the Island, and at the end of the day that is why we are all here – because we want to serve the Island and offer the best we can for Islanders.'

Meanwhile, Economic Development Minister Lyndon Farnham – who was formally reprimanded in writing by the Chief Minister for his role in the political failures surrounding the Jersey Innovation Fund – said: 'The Council of Ministers is a lively debating council, we debate issues rigorously and we don't always agree and arguments are won and lost. Good debates are had around the council table.'

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