The Infrastructure Minister has denied accusations by the Chief Minister that he "acted in an aggressive manner” during a meeting – suggesting that "perhaps it is easy to confuse the mood of a meeting where one is confronted with some rather unpalatable truths".
Deputy Binet made the comments today after letters and emails detailing his strained working relationship with Chief Minister Kristina Moore were made public yesterday – showing tensions between the pair dating as far back as last October.
In a break from "normal practice", the private correspondences were made public by the Chief Minister on Thursday following a Scrutiny panel's request for more information regarding allegedly unacceptable behaviour in senior levels of government.
In a letter to Corporate Services' Chair Deputy Sam Mézec, Deputy Moore wrote that she deemed it appropriate to publish her correspondences with Deputy Binet following references to the exchanges in this week's States sitting.
Deputy Binet confirmed that he knew about and was comfortable with all but one of the correspondences being made public.
He said that the inclusion of the Chief Minister’s letter dated 13 April “came as a surprise” to him, as it was not one of the documents that he had agreed to being made public.
Recently, the Chief Minister and the Infrastructure Minister have clashed publicly – after Deputy Binet broke ranks to demand greater transparency from the Chief Minister in an interview shortly after Government CEO Suzanne Wylie’s resignation was announced publicly at the end of March.
However, the letters and emails published this week show that tensions had been brewing at least six months before Mrs Wylie's resignation.
Last October, Deputy Binet wrote to the Chief Minister, when he described feeling "extremely stressed" after meetings they'd both attended, and criticised her lack of courtesy towards other members of the team.
The Chief Minister has also published her notes from a "difficult meeting" with Deputy Binet which took place on 29 March 2023 – which she says left her "feeling very unsettled".
Deputy Moore describes the meeting as "tense throughout", claiming that Deputy Binet "acted in an aggressive manner, both in language and actions". However, Deputy Moore adds that she "remained calm throughout the meeting".
Responding to Deputy Moore’s accusations that he "acted in an aggressive manner, both in language and actions” in a meeting on 29 March, Deputy Binet said “that is not how I see it” although agreed that it was a “tense meeting”.
He added: “Perhaps it is easy to confuse the mood of a meeting where one is confronted with some rather unpalatable truths.”
Deputy Binet admitted that he was still unsure of the way forward, but said that he “loves the job, and love the people”.
“Politics is politics is politics,” he added. “It’s a tricky job, but it was always going to be!”
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