Guernsey's former Chief Minister has accused his successor of having no plan to get the island through the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit. Deputy St Pier has today published a four-page open letter expressing his fears for the months and years ahead for the Bailiwick. Despite topping the polls in the General Election and attracting support from more than half of voters, his political peers chose Peter Ferbrache for the job of Chief Minister instead, and rejected him for roles heading up the States Trading Supervisory Board and the Scrutiny Management Committee.
Speaking to ITV News he said:
"There certainly wasn't a plan described in his [Deputy Ferbrache's] pitch for the role. He's certainly someone who describes himself as sick of strategies and visions and simply wants to get on with action which is fine if you know what actions you want, what change you want and where you're headed. I think we've headed into a period of change for changes sake and my lack of position is a consequence of that and I am concerned for the community there are enormous challenges and enormous opportunities. I am genuinely fearful as a community that we may not be able to take advantage of those."
On the basis we haven't had an articulation of what it is that he is going to do, it is hard to set out whether he has succeeded or failed against that. All he really is saying is, he's not Gavin.
Only 10 of the 21 candidates in The Guernsey Partnership of Independents were successful in the General Election. Deputy St Pier is the party's leader. He believes people did not realise the consequences of not backing whole parties. Deputy St Pier admits he failed to properly explain to the electorate some of the potential consequences of island-wide voting, adding there's now a divide between the electorate and the political class.
To the extent that there was failure on my part in explaining to the electorate that it wasn't enough to vote for me. People felt all they had to do was to vote for me to secure continuity.
In a four page open letter to voters he writes: "Many of you of all ages are saying you will never vote again. Please keep voting: the democratic system requires everyone to engage. I have not lost hope. I am not despairing."
When asked, Deputy St Pier denied his comments come from a place of resentment, saying: "I am absolutely saying it is just the system, but what I am saying is because of the transition from the parish to the island-wide system, it has not caught up with the public's understanding and expectation of what this election was going to deliver."
WATCH the full interview with Deputy Gavin St Pier here:
ITV News has approached Deputy Peter Ferbrache for his response to the comments.