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Dep. Murray joins P&R

Dep. Murray joins P&R

Wednesday 23 November 2022

Dep. Murray joins P&R

Wednesday 23 November 2022

The States have elected Deputy Bob Murray to Guernsey's senior political committee, consigning Deputy Gavin St Pier to a while longer on the back benches.

The pair went head to head in an election this morning to fill the seat left vacant on the Committee for Policy and Resources by Deputy Heidi Soulsby's resignation.

She announced she was standing down earlier this month, saying she was not listened to and her advice was not appreciated. 

The remaining four members of P&R backed Deputy Murray to replace her, while Deputy St Pier was nominated as an alternative choice by Deputies Yvonne Burford and Marc Leadbeater.

Deputy St Pier won 17 votes, out of a possible 38, losing out to Deputy Murrary's 20 votes. There was one spoiled paper. 


Pictured: Deputy Soulsby was critical of the male members of P&R when she quit, saying she has not been listened to.

The result means Deputy Murray takes the seat on P&R, but must leave his roles as Vice President of the Committee for Education, Sport and Culture, and a member of the Development and Planning Authority to do so.

The DPA is already on the verge of crisis as its Vice President, Deputy Andy Taylor, announced he is resigning from that role last week. The DPA will now need to find two States members without prior commitments keen to take on a role overseeing planning and development.

Deputy Murray asked his political colleagues to vote him on to P&R saying that who they chose depending on what they felt the States needs to deal with the challenges the island is facing.

"Without a doubt, if you simply want someone who has a closer match of skills to Deputy Soulsby then there's a closer replication of her level of States experience generally and of course having actually occupied a place on P&R then Deputy St Pier is the choice for you.

"But, is that what P&R needs? Is that what the island needs, particularly at this point in time?"

Ultimately Deputy Murray, and his proposer - Deputy Ferbrache - convinced 20 members of the States that he was the right choice for P&R at this time. 


Pictured: Deputy Bob Murray's election to P&R means Education, Sport, and Culture must find a new Vice President and the Development and Planning Authority is looking for two new members.

This is the second time during this term of office that the former Chief Minister has been rejected by his political colleagues after standing for a seat on P&R. Both times he secured 17 votes out of a maximum available of 40, if all States members were present. 

Having topped the polls in October 2020, securing just under 14,000 votes in Guernsey's first island wide election, Deputy St Pier made it clear he wanted to return to the States as Chief Minister. However, a week later he lost out on the P&R President role in a two way battle against Deputy Peter Ferbrache.

In 2020, 'Foxy' Ferbrache won - securing 23 votes to Deputy St Pier's 17. 

Deputy Ferbrache did offer Deputy St Pier a role on his first P&R committee, but that was refused. Deputy St Pier then contested elections for the Presidency of the States Trading Supervisory Board (which he lost to Deputy Peter Roffey) and for the Presidency of the States Scrutiny Management Committee (which he lost to Deputy Yvonne Burford). 


Pictured: Deputy Peter Ferbrache and Deputy Gavin St Pier with Deputy Bob Murray (inset).

Without a committee role since, Deputy St Pier has made himself at home on the backbenches, offering scrutiny from within the States. Today he told his colleagues he now wanted to do more.

"Two years ago I declined Deputy Ferbrache's offer to nominate me as a member of P&R. Having just vacated the role, I felt it was right to give him the time and space to demonstrate the leadership for which Deputy Dudley Owen had nominated him as President, without me breathing down his neck and I have no regrets at that decision. I continue to believe it was the right thing for Deputy Ferbrache and myself."

He continued, by explaining what he has done since: "...without any committee positions, I've sought to carve my own path as an active backbencher, a member without portfolio if you like. 

"I've been trying to give purpose and make real the mantra that we all trot out that in our system of government we are all scrutineers holding each other to account. Now, in doing so, I know that I've not made myself popular with some members."


Soulsby resigns from Policy and Resources

ANALYSIS: Resignation another symptom of the most divided States

P&R vacancy: who is in the race?

From Chief Minister to backbencher

Public opinion divided on Chief Minister hopefuls

Ferbrache is Guernsey's new Chief Minister  

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