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Senator apologises for failing to disclose lifeboat interest

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SENATOR Sarah Ferguson has been found to have breached the States code of conduct by the Commissioner for Standards after she failed to disclose her interest in the Jersey Lifeboat Association.

Senator Ferguson speaking at a meeting called to gather support and present plans for an independent Jersey lifeboat service

An investigation was launched into Senator Ferguson’s conduct following a complaint that she had not disclosed her involvement with the JLA before lodging two propositions about the organisation.

The JLA formed last year after the RNLI closed the St Helier station following a long-running dispute with the crew and it plans to buy a second-hand all-weather lifeboat to provide cover in the short term.

Paul Kernaghan, the Commissioner for Standards, wrote to Senator Ferguson after receiving the complaint that she had breached the provisions of the code of conduct for elected Members.

In her response to Mr Kernaghan, Senator Ferguson accepted that she had not declared or acknowledged her involvement with the JLA and apologised for the oversight.

The commissioner’s report says: ‘She set out in detail her connection with the Jersey Lifeboat Association and highlighted her “involvement as a politician” from November 2017 onwards.

‘She acknowledged that she had been involved in two propositions put before the Assembly but that her involvement with the association had effectively ended in March 2018. She had no ongoing interest of a financial or of any other nature.’

The Privileges and Procedures Committee said in a report which was presented to the States this week: ‘The committee has received a letter of apology from Senator Ferguson, accepts the commissioner’s report and considers that no further action is necessary.’

Krysta Eaves

By Krysta Eaves
author

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