Guernsey's Chief Minister: 'right decision' to welcome Lions head coach

Mr Gatland visited the Bailiwick to assess its suitability as a training base ahead of the Lions' summer tour in South Africa. Credit: ITV Channel TV / PA

Guernsey's Chief Minister has stood by the decision to welcome British and Irish Lions' head coach Warren Gatland to the island for talks over a potential training camp.

Mr Gatland visited the Bailiwick to assess its suitability as a training base ahead of the Lions' summer tour in South Africa.

The visit faced backlash after it was revealed that Mr Gatland was given an exemption, allowing him to bypass Guernsey's standard travel restrictions.

Deputy Peter Ferbrache apologised for the way the visit had been communicated to the public - including clarifications on some details which contradicted an earlier statement.

However, ultimately he said the decision to allow it to go ahead was the correct one.

If you're asking me, Peter Ferbrache, if it was right to allow the visit to go ahead, to welcome Mr Gatland and to try to make the most of a rare opportunity for us, I say unreservedly and absolutely, my answer is yes, it was the right thing to do and I fully believe that.

Deputy Peter Ferbrache, Guernsey's Chief Minister

Deputy Ferbrache added that while it was not a political decision to sanction the visit, it had gone ahead with his full support.

It has since been confirmed that Jersey will host the Lions for a ten-day training camp in June, with Mr Gatland saying the island can provide the facilities and support required for pre-tour preparations.