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Chief Minister called ‘a disgrace’ for failing to make it to States sitting

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THE Chief Minister was branded a ‘disgrace’ and as ‘taking the Mick’ for failing to return to the Island for this week’s States sitting – after being fogbound in the UK since Sunday.

Chief Minister John Le Fondré

For the second day in a row, during roll call, Assistant Chief Minister Richard Buchanan announced that Chief Minister John Le Fondré was still in the UK and that his flight would not land in Jersey until midday yesterday. He asked for the Chief Minister to be marked as excused attendance.

However, an objection was then lodged by Deputy Mary Le Hegarat, who said that on Sunday afternoon, she had been able to book a 7am flight on Monday morning.

She said: ‘So therefore, to say we are now on Wednesday and there were no alternatives I do not accept that is a possibility.’

Deputy Montfort Tadier also took exception to his absence, accusing the Chief Minister of hypocrisy.

‘I do not know if “taking the mick” is unparliamentary but I have also got another expression which is quite unparliamentary,’ he said.

‘It is now Wednesday and the Chief Minister cannot get back to the Assembly. We would not tolerate this from any other member of our workforce – it sends out complete double-standards.’

He added: ‘We have got two really big debates this week from domestic to global policy and the Chief Minister has not even got the front to be here. I think he is a disgrace.’

However, rather than marking him as absent without excuse, the Assembly opted to excuse the Chief Minister from attending by 18 votes to 17.

Later, Economic Development Minister Lyndon Farnham was challenged after trying to excuse Deputy Mike Higgins, who was attending meetings for the Jersey International Air Display in the UK and Europe.

Deputy Higgins was also excused 23 votes against ten.

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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