States pay respect to former politician who died this week

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A MINUTE’S silence was held in the States Chamber yesterday in memory of former Deputy Ben Fox, who died on Monday.

Ben Fox, when he won election by just one vote in 2008

The politician served St Helier No 3 district between 1999 and 2011, having previously been an officer with the States police.

He became known for making passionate speeches during sittings, often referring to his ‘previous life’ or ‘previous career’ as a police officer, which always drew laughs and good-humoured groans from fellow Members.

While serving as a Deputy he worked on Planning, Education and Overseas Aid committees, and was appointed vice-chairman of the Privileges and Procedures Committee in 2008.

He was also an Assistant Education Minister and was given special responsibility for the Youth Service.

Mr Fox won his seat for his final term in 2008 by the narrowest of margins, beating Suzette Hase by a single vote.

Before the minute’s silence, the Bailiff, Timothy Le Cocq, said: ‘Ben was a vocal campaigner for the return of police motorbikes, which was achieved under the new chief officer of the States of Jersey Police Mike Bowron in 2011.

‘A keen supporter of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Ben attended a number of visits most notably to the Falklands in 2004, where he forged strong friendships with delegates from that Island and St Helena, with whom he remained in regular contact for the remainder of his life. Ben was extremely fond of the Falklands.

‘Ben was renowned for referring to his “previous career” in speeches, which became his catchphrase. He retired in 2011 and enjoyed his retirement with his dear wife, Lizzie, until his recent illness.’

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath

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