Today I have a guest posting on former Deputy Andrew Lewis concerning the suspension of the Chief of Police, Graham Power. The reasons for his doing so were mentioned in an "in camera" (secret) States debate, the transcript of which later leaked to the public domain, which is mentioned by former Deputy Daniel Wimberly.
It is worth noting that in the normal course of events, it is impossible to tell whether States members make misleading remarks in these debates, of which Jersey had many during the tenures of Frank Walker and Terry Le Sueur as Chief Ministers. A notable one which still remains secret is the one in which Pierre Horsfall and his position on the Waterfront Enterprise Board was debated, and Mr Horsfall was upset at the lack of transparency involved.
Guernsey has relatively few; in larger Parliaments, of course, it is pretty well impossible for them to occur. There have been few during the tenure of Ian Gorst. Because of their secretive nature, when decisions are made out of the public eye, I think they are an abuse of the Parliamentary process, and are very much to the detriment of democratic accountability. They will remain a blight on local democracy, until they are severely restricted in use.
Guest Posting from Daniel Wimberley
I would advise people to think twice before voting for Andrew Lewis, on the basis of his track record as Minister for Home Affairs for the few brief months during which he suspended Graham Power.
Firstly, Napier found that “the basis on which he (Graham Power) was suspended on 12 November 2008 was in my view inadequate” (Napier report, paragraph 107). And the rest of that paragraph sets out the detail of how utterly inadequate the whole process was.
The Napier report shows that the main decision which Lewis took as Minister was just plain wrong.
Secondly I invite readers to read the following quotes from Lewis, said in the States on 2nd December 2008, when answering two separate questions following his making a statement to the States on suspending Graham Power
"As far as the accusation you raise about the Metropolitan Police, when I saw the preliminary report I was astounded. So much so that my actions, I believe, are fully justified. If the preliminary report is that damning, Lord knows what the main report will reveal. So my successor will have an interesting time. The report that I was shown gave me no doubt at all." (my emphasis)
“I have read an alarming report from the Metropolitan Police which led me to this decision in the first place.” (my emphasis)
And then to compare the above, with what Napier says about this same report, namely the “interim report” from the Metropolitan Police:
"As previously has been noted, neither Mr Lewis nor Mr Ogley saw the Interim Report. Neither did they seek to see it. The reason given was the nature of the information that was contained therein. It was, said Mr Ogley, a police document and it was inappropriate that he (or anyone else) should have access to it. Mr Ogley says that he was told both by the Attorney General and Mr Warcup that he should not look at the interim report and neither he nor Mr Lewis did so."
Napier report paragraph 101
It appears from the Napier report, carefully compiled some months after the States in camera questions, by a leading QC engaged by the States, that it is hard to avoid the conclusion that Andrew Lewis lied to the States.
I invite readers to draw their own conclusions from the above and to think very carefully before voting for Andrew Lewis. In fact I am very surprised that he dares to consider putting his name forward for election to the States.
Maybe there is an innocent explanation for what I have written above – if so, I would like to hear it. I am quite happy to send the original texts in full to anyone asking for them.