Reform Jersey has announced plans to form an official 'opposition' block in the States Assembly, with each of its members being assigned different 'shadow' portfolios.
Under the new plans:
Senator Mézec will become the Leader of the Opposition, focusing on Economy, Children and Housing;
Deputy Geoff Southern has been given Social Security;
Deputy Carina Alves will be focusing on Health;
Deputy Rob Ward will take on Education and Environment;
and Deputy Montfort Tadier will be tasked with keeping an eye on Heritage, Sport, Culture, Equality and Human Rights.
The announcement comes after Senator Sam Mézec and Deputy Montfort Tadier resigned from their positions as Children and Housing Minister, and Assistant Minister for Culture, respectively, to support a vote of no confidence against the Chief Minister, alongside the other three members of their party.
Explaining their decision at the time, they said it was largely down to a lack of progress on the Council of Ministers’ goal to ‘reduce income inequality.'
In his resignation letter, Senator Mézec cited frustrations over the Chief Minister’s failure to back plans to regulate landlords and boost the minimum wage.
He also alleged he had been “obstructed” by civil servants from pushing through policy decisions, while Deputy Tadier revealed that - despite holding political responsibility for culture and heritage - he had been kept in the dark about plans to pull funding from Elizabeth Castle.
In a statement announcing Reform Jersey's plan to form an official ‘Opposition’ block in the States Assembly, Senator Mézec, defended his party's decision to back the vote of no confidence.
Pictured: All Reform Jersey members supported the 'vote of no confidence' against the Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré.
“Reform Jersey was right to support the Vote of No Confidence in the Chief Minister, as his leadership on key issues facing islanders has been weak and he has failed to deliver on the ambitions in the Common Strategic Policy and our agreement with him on the formation of a government after the last election," he said.
"The last straw was his shambolic handling of the recent crisis with the CEO. Even though the vote did not succeed, it is clear that a large proportion of the Assembly has lost faith in his leadership, and there is widespread disillusion amongst the public.”
As the official opposition in the Assembly, Senator Mézec said Reform will "work hard to hold the government to account" for the next 18 months until the 2022 election."
They will also "seek to deliver on our manifesto commitments to improve the standard of living for islanders, and to ensure that our recovery following the corona virus pandemic is based on our ‘New Deal for Jersey’ proposals."
Pictured: Senator Mézec said Reform would "work hard to hold the government to account."
"We will be lodging several propositions in the coming months to that effect," Senator Mézec said.
“We intend to work inclusively with other States Members who share some of our policy aspirations and form broad coalitions to see propositions passed," Senator Mézec said.
"Even amongst those who did not back the Vote of No Confidence, many still expressed their deep frustration at the lack of progress being made on key issues. We will seek to provide leadership where the Council of Ministers fails to do so.”
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