Isle of Man Treasury Minister David Ashford steps down with immediate effect

David Ashford steps down as Isle of Man's Treasury Minister.

The Isle of Man's Treasury Minister David Ashford has stepped down from his role with immediate effect.

It comes after a tribunal found the former Medical Director was unfairly dismissed from her role during the coronavirus pandemic.Minister Ashford was the Health and Social Care Minister at the time.

Former Medical Director Dr Rosalind Ranson had claimed if the government had taken her advice sooner during the pandemic, "more lives would have been saved".

Dr Rosalind Ranson was "unfairly dismissed", according to a tribunal.

But, after speaking out she found herself side-lined before eventually she was dismissed from her role.

An employment tribunal found Dr Ranson was unfairly dismissed by the Island's Department of Health and Social Care after she had 'blown the whistle' about concerns.

Speaking after his resignation, Minister Ashford said he "remains absolutely adamant" that he "acted appropriately at all times".

He goes on to say that his family have been "maliciously targeted" since the tribunal findings and that he is "not willing to put them through it any further."

In a statement, he said: "I have always believed that when it comes to serving in public office that the office is more important than the occupant at any one tine and no one Minister should distract from or end up detracting from the important work that government must carry out.

"Over the next four years, this government has many challenges and I cannot allow myself to become a distraction from government's ability to deliver its priorities."

Chief Minister Alfred Cannan.

The Chief Minister, Alfred Cannan MHK, said he "regrets to have accepted" Mr Ashford’s resignation as Treasury Minister.

He said: "I would like to place on record my thanks for the contribution he has made in establishing the new administration and indeed for the contribution he made during the Covid-19 pandemic as Health and Social Care Minister.

"David has always played a full and active role in the business of government and I commend his commitment to the roles he has undertaken.

"I fully respect the decision he has reached and wish him well as he returns to the back benches.’