Paradise Papers: Ministers' failure to speak out 'weird'
THE failure of Jersey’s government to put forward a spokesperson to speak on national television about the Paradise Papers data leak was ‘weird’, a backbench politician has said.
Deputy Sam Mézec, from Reform Jersey, appeared on BBC1 this week to defend the Island after it was accused of being complicit in helping US tech giant Apple avoid tax on billions of dollars.
During his interview, the Deputy said that he wanted Jersey to be an ‘ally’ in tackling abusive tax avoidance and added that only ‘clean business’ was wanted in the Island.
But in a Facebook post, he questioned why no one in the Council of Ministers opted to be interviewed.
‘It was weird that no one spoke to the national media, especially when they are employing an £875-a-day PR consultant to advise them,’ he said, speaking to the JEP.
‘I could give them some free advice – when the national media want to speak to you, you send someone out. The position of the Reform Jersey party is that we think the thing to do is speak positively about what Jersey is doing in terms of its international obligations.’
In response to Deputy Mézec’s comments, Chief Minister Ian Gorst said that it was ‘not his job’ to criticise how other people respond to the data leak.
‘We don’t always have to wade in every time there is negative publicity about Jersey. There will be no doubt some people in some places in the world wondering what our role was in all of this, which is why it is important for me to talk about our commitment to making sure we meet the highest standards.’