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Emails reveal history of tension between Moore and Binet

Emails reveal history of tension between Moore and Binet

Thursday 20 April 2023

Emails reveal history of tension between Moore and Binet

Thursday 20 April 2023

Letters and emails detailing the strained working relationship between Chief Minister Kristina Moore and Infrastructure Minister Tom Binet have been made public – with tensions going 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.


CLICK TO READ: The letter from the Chief Minister to the Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel, dated 20 April 2023.

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 today 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.


CLICK TO READ: The letter from the Infrastructure Minister to the Chief Minister, dated 6 October 2022.

He wrote: "On each occasion I left feeling extremely stressed, to the extent that, as a consequence of your approach to me at the last of these, I had to leave before the meeting commenced and cancel all other meetings for the remainder of the day.

"I should add, that instead of catching up on my work over the weekend, my state of mind was such that I felt unable to function constructively as I wrestled with the dilemma of how best I should deal with the situation."

Deputy Binet also criticised Deputy Moore's treatment of other staff members, adding: "Whilst you may not always be content with their performance, I feel that they deserve to be treated with the same respect as we would hope to receive from them. Sadly, this courtesy was not apparent at the meeting..."


CLICK TO READ: The Chief Minister also today published her notes from a "difficult meeting" with Deputy Binet which took place on 29 March 2023.

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".

Last week, the Chief Minister claimed that there had been "no formal grievances raised, or investigations undertaken, relating to unacceptable behaviour by Ministers or senior civil servants" since the current government came into office – but admitted that "from time to time relationships can get strained"

However, Scrutiny Chair Deputy Mézec asked for more details, calling for the Chief Minister to disclose "an overview of all concerns (not only "formal grievances") raised by Ministers and Government Civil Servants regarding unacceptable behaviour that have been resolved informally during your term of office" or "have fallen short of being classed as formal complaints".

The letter published today was in answer to Deputy Mézec's call for these details.

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Posted by Tobias Philpott on
As I have said before. The Chief Minister is rightly trying to change the entrenched culture of resistance to streamlining the red tape and bureaucracy that has plagued the island, ever since the previous CEO took up his post and mixed and mangled everything towards his own selfish purposes. There is no doubt that things can be improved but the wholesale dismantling of relatively well working departments, in the name of cost saving reorganisation, has resulted in a much worse system. This was populated by hand-picked senior managers that would not question these objectives.
We have been plagued by ineffective politicians and ministers and when one comes along to try and change things, they are obstructed, not just by civil servants but by their colleagues. The time has come to break some eggs and make an omelette, rather than shy away from difficult decisions. The prime examples of which are the toxic dump in Le Colette and the tawdry fiasco that is the new hospital project.
Posted by Jon Jon on
Binet is a strong character ,I'm not a fan of his but he's growing on me.He's not afraid to speak his his mind... on that council of ministers most follow Moore like sheep.So we need someone like Binet to not only attack Moore but the likes of Renouf over the stupidity of these tree potential laws he wants brought in!
Posted by Keith Marsh on
"Open and Honest Government" remember those words, Chief Minister ; and IF you cannot run such an organisation, please resign and lets have a new broom to sort this never ending mess out.
Posted by David Moon on
The Island is reaping the consequences of ministerial government and a crazy electoral system. It has a Chief Minister elected by a minority of the Island electorate who has hand picked a government of her own choosing and Deputy Binet apart will not question her policies and actions for which she does not have an Island mandate. This is the result of the well constructed government and electoral system put in place by the Royal Commission in 1958 being dis placed by misconceived alternatives introduced to satisfy the private agendas of certain state members to enable them to push their own agendas. The Island was far better served with Island Senators and parish Deputies governing through a committee system of government which could have been tuned to perform better than imposing an alien system designed for party politics.
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