July 12 2017 – Law protects liars in Jersey

JERSEY EVENING POST – OPINION – “TIME TO LIMIT THE PRIVILEGE?”

http://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2017/07/11/jep-opinion-time-to-limit-the-privilege/

IT is simply astonishing that the law protects States Members who are found to have lied to a public inquiry. Last week, the Attorney General told the House that the law did not allow criminal action to be taken against a Member because the absolute privilege parliamentarians rightly enjoy to discuss matters of public interest in the Assembly extended to evidence given to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry.

As we now know, the inquiry panel found that Deputy Andrew Lewis had twice lied – once to the States and once to the panel – about events concerning the suspension of former police chief Graham Power.

Last week, this newspaper called for Deputy Lewis to stand down. He has not done so, a refusal which leaves a shadow hanging over every Member of the States Assembly and, therefore, in the eyes of many, over the whole Island.

Deputy Lewis is adamant that he did not lie and says he will fight to clear his name when the allegations are examined again by the Privileges and Procedures Committee. But the debate is not now about a personal battle to save one man’s reputation, it is about the standing of Jersey and of its leading democratic institution.

Last week, Deputy Jackie Hilton echoed calls for her fellow St Helier No 3 and 4 Deputy to go, saying that she does not want to be tarred with the same brush. The public interest of Jersey is now best served by Deputy Lewis resigning. He can, of course, work to clear his name and he can see if the voting public has faith in his ability to represent them by standing in a by-election or in next year’s general election.

It is also imperative – and in the public interest – that the law which protects States Members who lie is reviewed as a matter of urgency.

Comments for: “JEP Opinion: Time to limit the privilege?”

Basil the rat

July 11, 2017 8:43 pm

At the end of the day Dep. Andrew Lewis was right to suspend Graham Power and this suspension was further endorsed by the next Home Affairs Minister who happened to be a former Magistrate.

I seem to recall it happening again when Graham Power was found to be doing illegal criminal record checks on States Members without their knowledge. Then some years earlier I also recall Graham Power having a run in with the Data Protection office.

He was a useless Chief of Police and he retired early to avoid a disciplinary.

Anybody who has doubts about the suspension of Graham Power who was also supposed to be watching over the clown Lenny Harper should read the Wiltshire Report. This Report shows that Dep. Andrew Lewis made the right decision.

https://www.gov.je/SiteCollectionDocuments/Government%20and%20administration/R%20WiltshireOperationHavenRedacted%2020081112%20JN.pdf

PeggyP

July 11, 2017 9:56 pm

This has got nothing to do with him suspending GP, other of course, than not following the correct procedure.

It’s about him lying and then us finding out that all our politicians are allowed to lie. Time to get my voting hat!

Basil the rat

July 11, 2017 10:37 pm

Its all about the suspension of Graham Power and this alleged lie ended up being a big truth. The Interim Report was an indication of bigger things to come.

You need to loo at the bigger picture and how things turned out to be before Power took the easy way out and resigned early.

Sotte Voce

July 11, 2017 11:54 pm

Do you take bigger pictures in the loo?

PeggyP

July 12, 2017 2:48 pm

Sotte,

I think what Ratty is trying to say, is that he is a sewer rat.

PeggyP

July 11, 2017 9:52 pm

I agree, but I’m surprised that the JEP has suddenly grown a pair, having been such a timid fellow for so long.

Basil the rat

July 12, 2017 4:55 am

You still cannot beat the old Broadland Xmas Cartoons.

4 x Salary Darling was one of the funniest they ever did.

Sotte Voce

July 12, 2017 2:35 pm

It certainly was very peculiar and unprofessional.

Frodo

July 11, 2017 10:05 pm

There are two different matters here.

Criminal action cannot be taken as has been stated, and this must and will change.

However there is a case of Gross Misconduct which as I have stated elsewhere is all encompassing. He should have been suspended immediately on grounds of Gross Misconduct of which this is one of clearest cases I have ever seen.

Again, if he is to be believed and he made incorrect statements on a number of occasions that he later corrected, then on such a serious matter this is incompetence.

Incompetence is not a defence for Gross Misconduct – so suspension at the least would be expected.

Deviance or incompetence the end result is still the same.

The fact he did not offer his resignation straight away tells me all I need to know about the man. The lack of communication / action / thoughts from our leaders …! Tells me it’s the same old same old……l

Finding Me:Mo

July 12, 2017 7:25 am

I am getting worried about our rodent friend, he is not getting enough sleep, and the Mailonline ( a revered source) say that less than seven hours sleep affects your IQ.

8.43pm 10.37pm 4.55am

Try this test :

Which of these has the lowest value?

Privilege>perjury> democracy

Basil the rat

July 12, 2017 8:01 am

At least he turned up to give evidence.

Finding Me:Mo

July 12, 2017 8:34 am

Proves my point ,your non sequitur shows your sleep deprivation.

PeggyP

July 12, 2017 2:45 pm

Answer the question Ratty

Shoot to Thrill

July 12, 2017 7:45 am

What does the JEP suggest the States does, wire each States Member up to a Polygraph machine during debate?

Reform Jersey’s would be going off at every speech.

Mickey Mouth

July 12, 2017 3:22 pm

…and out comes Ratties alter ego.

Bandiera Rossa

July 12, 2017 3:25 pm

As I have said before, the JEP at the time he gave evidence said his position was untenable. They have continued to keep the pot boiling. He is now saying it is a distraction from the work needing to be done to ensure child protection.

This is rubbish and his credibility is further eroded (if indeed he had any left). Just go.

Adios Companeros

Mickey Mouth

July 12, 2017 5:05 pm

Any man with a little bit of integrity would resign because he was causing a distraction to child safety – let alone being named as being a liar/incompetent (choose whichever).

Basil the rat

July 12, 2017 6:25 pm

I’m impressed to be advised that my Rat fan base includes the Sorda blogger.

I knew he would see sense in the end. It’s easy to concentrate on one point of time if you are simple and ignore everything that happens afterwards.

Basil the rat

July 12, 2017 6:34 pm

People talk about Politicians saying lies but what about Deputy Montfort Tadier’s Manifestos?

He lies every-time he seeks re-election, surely he should be made to account for that?

Read more at http://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2017/07/11/jep-opinion-time-to-limit-the-privilege/#rxWU8HXRSd8d8US3.99

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