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Back to the future? Trott returns to the top

Back to the future? Trott returns to the top

Wednesday 13 December 2023

Back to the future? Trott returns to the top

Wednesday 13 December 2023

Guernsey has a new top politician in place – and he’s a familiar face to many.

Deputy Lyndon Trott – who served as Chief Minister between 2008 and 2012 – has been elected as the new President of the Policy & Resources Committee after its previous members were forced to resign following a successful motion of no confidence against their leadership.

The former Treasury Minister, Chief Minister, and Vice-President of P&R received 21 votes in a secret ballot of States Members, beating the only remaining contender, Home Affairs President Deputy Rob Prow, in a third round of voting this afternoon.

Deputies Charles Parkinson, who led the motion of no confidence, and Peter Roffey also stood for the position, but were eliminated in the first two rounds.

What happens next?

Deputy Trott has vowed to heal divisions in the States and tackle urgent issues including building more homes and preparing the island for a visit from the European Union’s financial services inspectors next year.

He said the impasse over funding for education’s capital projects would be at the top of the agenda in the first P&R meeting he chairs. 

Elections for the remaining four positions on P&R will be held later this week, with the new President saying he wants to tap into “underutilised” skills in the Assembly.

But he had also argued that a clear majority was needed for whichever candidate came out on top prior to the vote, and having secured just two extra votes to Deputy Prow’s 19, there’ll be questions on how successful he and his new team will be at bridging divisions in government.

"I don't play political games"

Deputy Simon Fairclough, proposing his pick to the Assembly, said “he's simply the best candidate for the job”.

He cited Deputy Trott’s experience both domestically in introducing the zero-10 tax system and internationally in representing the island, particularly around the 2008 global financial crash, as markers of his suitability for the position.

Deputy Trott was allowed to make his case for 10 minutes to deputies, where he told them he had the best chance of bringing the Assembly together despite other strong candidates being in the running.

He said he had no political ambition but felt a “compelling sense of duty” to lead the island again.

Pictured: Jersey’s Chief Minister, Deputy Kristina Moore, was quick to offer her congratulations and pay tribute to the outgoing President, Deputy Peter Ferbrache, as well as welcoming Deputy Trott to his new role.

He promised to rebuild public trust in the States, admitting that is currently a “scarce commodity”, through a “direct, to the point, and professional” approach.

“I don't play political games,” he assured colleagues. 

While the island had stronger economic growth than anticipated last year and continued low unemployment he recognised that, for many, “it doesn’t feel like that”. 

Most of this growth came from new business in the finance sector, and he said his biggest lesson as a politician has been to ensure the economy is strong.

Trott's priorities

Some of the extra cash raised through economic performance last year, some £30m, could be used to help fund education’s transformation programme, he said.

On housing, he said the island “simply isn’t building enough” and said economic and social benefits can be realised through faster action in this area.

As well as the social housing programme, he said he would try to “unblock” hurdles in the private development sector, but called on deputies to “say what we mean and mean what we say” on the issue.

And with a visit from MoneyVAL just months away he assured that having led the island through a similar inspection before he would do all he can to ensure a positive assessment.

You can catch up on the day’s event through our live feed.

Follow Express for more coverage of the States tomorrow….


Policy & Resources Committee sacked by the States

◆ LIVE UPDATES: States Debate – Debating a new P&R

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