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Official rebuke for apologetic Deputy who broke Members' code

Official rebuke for apologetic Deputy who broke Members' code

Tuesday 12 September 2023

Official rebuke for apologetic Deputy who broke Members' code

Tuesday 12 September 2023


A St. Helier Deputy has been given an official rebuke for breaking the code of conduct for States Members in a unanimous vote during which he voted for his own reprimand.

In the first States Assembly sitting of the new political year, Members today voted unanimously to censure Deputy Max Andrews.

Deputy Andrews had been found by the States’ Commissioner for Standards – who investigates complaints about the conduct of politicians – to have breached several of the rules governing the behaviour of Members.

His actions centred on the breakdown in his working relationship with fellow backbencher Deputy Moz Scott. 

The St. Brelade representative made two official complaints: the first concerning various accounts of Deputy Andrews’ conduct, and the second about an incident which took place on Liberation Day this year.

Deputy Andrews was found to have sent “sustained disrespectful communications” to Deputy Scott, spread “malicious gossip”, used “disrespectful” language towards her and given her inappropriate gifts.

MozScott.jpg

Pictured: Deputy Moz Scott of St. Brelade was also found to have breached the rules governing States Members' behaviour.

Making a personal statement to Members, Deputy Andrews accepted full responsibility for his actions.

He said: “Having acknowledged the full severity of the findings, I believe it is appropriate for me to apologise to fellow States Members for bringing the States Assembly into disrepute. 

“As much as the situation became untenable, I happened to be reactionary to the situation that unfolded once the counter complaint had been lodged against me which has culminated in a series of personal errors which upon careful reflection has been something I have genuinely regretted and learnt from.”

The Deputy also referenced the mental stress which the investigation had put him under, and the support he had recently received, which he said would now be available to all Members.

He said: “It cannot be underestimated how the stress and pressure has been insurmountable and this has impacted upon me greatly. 

“I am pleased to see action has now been taken to assist States Members with the provision of counselling. This was a much-needed resource that I needed over this extended period of time which was not available until now.”

Few Members spoke in the censure debate which followed his statement. Deputy Scott spoke of the “unpleasant verbal communications” she had received and said her hand had been forced by a complaint made against her for swearing at Deputy Andrews.

The debate was held in public after the Privileges and Procedures Committee withdrew plans to to ask for the debate to be held privately following concerns about transparency from fellow politicians, including Deputy Andrews himself.

In a social media post, Deputy Andrews said that "the vote of censure needs to be in the public domain and not behind closed doors," adding the hashtags “#transparency” and “#accountability”. 

In today's vote, Deputy Andrews also voted for his own censure. 

As well as apologising to the Assembly, the Deputy has written a personal letter of apology to Deputy Scott, who herself has apologised to Deputy Andrews for the use of inappropriate language toward him.

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