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Under-fire politician says behaviour debate shouldn't be "behind closed doors"

Under-fire politician says behaviour debate shouldn't be

Wednesday 06 September 2023

Under-fire politician says behaviour debate shouldn't be "behind closed doors"

Wednesday 06 September 2023


A Deputy facing an official reprimand for calling a colleague a “silly cow” and giving her “inappropriate” expensive gifts has said a debate about his behaviour should not be held “behind closed doors”.

Deputy Max Andrews is the subject of a ‘vote of censure’ debate due to take place in the first meeting of the States Assembly following the summer break next Tuesday.

Two reports published by the parliamentary behaviour watchdog last week shed light on a toxic spat between the St. Helier North representative and St. Brelade Deputy Moz Scott.

The pair – who used to sit on the Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel together before Deputy Andrews resigned in March – were separately referred to Commissioner for Standards Dr Melissa McCullough earlier this year.

MozScott.jpg

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

Deputy Max Andrews was referred for what were described as "discourteous communications to her and about her; and violation of her personal boundaries", which involved compliments that she looked "stunning", occasions in which he gifted her an "inordinately expensive" box of chocolates, Chanel perfume and bath oil, in addition to a heated exchange on Liberation Day when he was reported to have called her a "silly cow".

The complaint about Deputy Scott revolved around “inappropriate language” to Deputy Andrews, which included telling him to “f*** off”.

Dr McCullough recommended in her reports that both should apologise to the States Assembly for breaching the States Members’ Code of Conduct, and that a suspension or ‘vote of censure’ should be considered in the case of Deputy Andrews.

The Privileges and Procedures Committee (PPC) – the panel of politicians responsible for overseeing the running of the Assembly – concluded that a written apology from Deputy Scott to Deputy Andrews would suffice, but decided to bring a vote of censure against Deputy Andrews.

In a break from tradition, however, PPC Chair Karen Shenton-Stone said that it would be asking the Assembly to hold the debate ‘in camera’ because it would involve "sensitive" information – meaning the debate would not be broadcast live, be open to the public or be able to be reported by the media.

Deputy Andrews, who apologised to States Members and publicly on Facebook on Friday, tweeted last night that he did not agree with the approach. 

“I sent a statement of apology to States members on Friday evening. I will also be making a statement of apology in the States Assembly on the 12th of September too. The vote of censure needs to be in the public domain & not behind closed doors,” he said, adding the hashtags “#transparency” and “#accountability”.

Express has contacted Constable Shenton-Stone to ask if PPC will still be requesting to hold the debate in private.

READ MORE...

INSIGHT: Swearing, name-calling, and "inappropriate" Chanel gifting... reports shed light on toxic political spat

Debate over official reprimand for Deputy could be held behind closed doors

OPINION: "I hope the warring deputies end their spat and return more committed"

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