Monday, 12 April 2010

Something out of nothing.

Recently Senator Ben (P9-26) Shenton, in defence of our beloved leader, Chief Minister Terry Le Sueur made a complaint to the Privilege and Procedures Committee concerning the conduct of St Martin Deputy Bob Hill which was reported by VFC Here

The complaint was viewed by Deputy Hill as “frivolous and mischievous” but he played along with, what some might call, the “charade” and attended the PPC meeting to face the “charge” and defend his position.

Below is PPC’s “verdict” and e-mail sent by the Deputy to the media. More importantly by Deputy Hill playing along with the charade he was able to expose the completely flawed procedure operated by PPC.

E-mail from Deputy Hill to media.

Good Morning,

You will recall that Senator Ben Shenton had complained to PPC about remarks I had made in an email about the Chief Minister and comments reported in the JEP.

I was never concerned about the complaints which I believed were frivolous and mischievous but I was concerned by way Standing Orders are drafted, therefore took the opportunity of testing the system.

As can be seen not only does PPC consider that my remarks did not exceed the accepted boundaries of robust political comment and accordingly agreed that there had not been a breach of the Code of Conduct for Elected Members but it was interested to hear my views regarding Human Rights and it will be reviewing the process set out in Standing Orders for dealing with complaints under the Code of Conduct.

I attach the statement I made at the PPC hearing and the PPC letter dated 31st March informing me of its decision. I had been waiting for PPC to make a formal comment as per Standing Order 158 below, but it appears that it is not commenting on the matter.

Regards Deputy F. J. (Bob) Hill, BEM.,Deputy of St Martin.

The Statement to PPC was published on Senator Syvret’s Blog Here

PPC’s “Verdict”


Dear Deputy Hill,

Thank you for attending the meeting of the privileges and Procedures Committee on 30th March 2010 in respect of the complaint received against you from Senator B.E. Shenton, dated 25th February 2010.

The Committee considered the complaint in accordance with Standing Order 157 and has now heard from both you and Senator Shenton in respect of this matter. The Committee noted that the comments cited by Senator Shenton in his complaint derived from the attachment to your e-mail dated 21st February 2010 and that the Senator was also concerned about the media coverage in the Jersey Evening Post on 25th February 2010. The statements made in your email attachment referred to the comments of the Council of Ministers in respect of your proposition: Committee of enquiry: suspension of the Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police (P.9/2010).

The Committee heard your request at its meeting to consider the particular comments complained of in the context of the entire 8 page document. The Committee did so, and agreed that they amounted to a forthright expression of opinion of an elected member, and that it had not been your intention generally to “impugn the reputation of both the States Assembly and the Chief Minister”. Furthermore, the Committee noted that a States member could not be held to account for the content of media coverage. The Committee concluded that your remarks did not exceed the accepted boundaries of robust political comment and accordingly agreed that there had not been a breach of the Code of Conduct for Elected Members.

The Committee was interested to hear your views regarding the Human Rights (Jersey) Law 2000 and the conclusions of the joint Committee on the Parliamentary Privilege when it met with you yesterday, and it will be reviewing the process set out in Standing Orders for dealing with complaints under the Code of Conduct. In the meantime, the Committee will continue to investigate complaints in accordance with the approved Standing Orders.


Yours Sincerely,


Connetable de Ste Marie
Chaiman, Privileges and Procedures Committee
Jg.Gallichan@gove.je




5 comments:

  1. Well done Bob - a good day for justice and common sense.

    The letter I sent to PPC complaining about Senator Shenton's covert recording of another States Memeber has not even been acknowledged!!

    Harry

    ReplyDelete
  2. Common sense prevails at last. Long may it continue, but I won't hold my breath.

    I would press PPC, as I too made a complaint to them and the Data Protection Officer in regard to Shenton's breach of Data Protection and had a very rapid acknowledgement from both. I think maybe they have received more than one complaint - in fact I know they have!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Perhaps it is the pressure they are being put under by the public, that helped them come to this decission.

    Even as recently as a year ago, I can see Deputy Hill being in trouble for this dastardly act of self expression.

    Perhaps our Government are finally getting the message?

    Very well done Deputy Hill....

    ReplyDelete
  4. Will we now see a public apology from Shenton?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Is Ben Shenton the new George Dubya? Certianly looks like a daddy's boy.

    ReplyDelete

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.