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Investigation Panel recommends one year suspension for Deputy Le Tissier

Investigation Panel recommends one year suspension for Deputy Le Tissier

Friday 25 June 2021

Investigation Panel recommends one year suspension for Deputy Le Tissier


Deputy Chris Le Tissier should be suspended from all States business for one year without pay, a new Code of Conduct Panel has concluded.

Deputy Le Tissier submitted an appeal against the original Code of Conduct Panel's recommendation of expulsion from the States for offensive and disparaging tweets about 'non-locals' and deceitful remarks on social media, where he posed as a member of the public rather than an elected official.

The appeal was brought on four grounds being: alleged bias; procedural irregularities in the panel hearing; the announcement of the decision; and the sanction imposed.

The new investigation panel comprised of Deputy Conduct Panel Chairman Allister Langlois, Advocate Louise Hall and Stephen Trevor dismissed the accusations of bias against two members of the original panel, saying it had "made its final decision with an open mind, taking into account relevant issues."

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Pictured: One of the tweets, posted under a pseudonym, that formed the basis of conduct complaints against the suspended Guernsey Party member. 

The premature publication of the final report - before the right to appeal had been triggered by Deputy Le Tissier - was deemed an "unfortunate" mistake. 

However the second panel reached a different conclusion - which overrides the recommendation of the first - over the sanction that should be imposed. 

"We find in this regard that although Deputy Le Tissier may have made some or all of his posts as “ChrisLT”, he was not immediately identifiable as the holder of a Twitter account “ChrisLT” and even less so when it was changed to “The Pirate” and then to “airbus666”.

"His actions in making disparaging and offensive remarks against individuals and groups of people broke the trust which the public placed in him. This was a breach of his duty to act in accordance with the public trust placed in him as a member of the States."

The panel concurred with the first that the first-time deputy had breached six sections of the code governing politicians' behaviour, having considered the seven public complaints made against him. 

The suggestion of suspension comes 12 weeks after the original panel found Deputy Le Tissier guilty of undermining standards expected of elected members.

During that time, he has not participated in DPA and Home Affairs committee meetings but has had full voting rights, privileges and public pay.

The panel added: "Deputy Le Tissier’s comments seeking to distinguish between the validity of opinions held by people who are and who are not "local" might legitimately undermine the public's confidence in his objectivity.

"The Code requires all Members to act with objectivity. The relevance of this to Deputy Le Tissier, as a member of the Committee for Home Affairs whose responsibilities include the island’s population management regime, is obvious."

The background to the complaints against Deputy Le Tissier

The first-time deputy, elected in October 2020 as a Guernsey Party member, was first contacted by Express on 2 March following claims on social media that he was the man behind controversial tweets as 'The Pirate'.

Using the Twitter handle @Radiosutch299, the deputy told prominent historian Dr Gilly Carr to "leave Guernsey alone" because she is "non local", while also criticising Deputy Gavin St Pier with the same retort in his race against Deputy Peter Ferbrache for the top political job.

Deputy Le Tissier was also caught repeatedly commenting on States business - since his election - under the guise of a concerned member of the public "listening while working from home".

An investigation by Express into the deputy's social media behaviour unearthed links between a YouTube account 'Radio Sutch' - which was visibly Deputy Le Tissier - and the Twitter account, which most recently went under the username 'The Pirate', before it was deleted.

It led to a public admission from Deputy Le Tissier on 4 March, where he rejected suggestions that his behaviour amounted to "trolling" and instead claimed that months of social media activity amounted to an "uncharacteristic lapse of judgement".

The Home Affairs and Development & Planning Authority member was suspended from the Guernsey Party for six months and asked to self-refer to the States' conduct panel by both of his committees.

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Pictured: The recommendation of suspension from all States activities will go to the Assembly for debate next month. 

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