Deputy Chris Le Tissier has finally admitted to posting tweets that made people "upset" under a pseudonym - but has rejected suggestions that his behaviour amounted to "trolling", as he claimed that months of social media activity amounted to an "uncharacteristic lapse of judgement".
Deputy Le Tissier offered his "sincere apologies" for comments made using the @Radiosutch299 twitter handle, but feels that many of his comments have been taken out of context. In a written statement, he said he would not be giving interviews on the matter.
The Guernsey Party Member was contacted by Express following claims on social media that he was the man behind controversial tweets - published here - which have subsequently been deleted.
Tweets from the account include 'The Pirate', which was a recent username of his, stating that Holocaust Historian Dr Gilly Carr should "leave Guernsey alone", and criticising her for being 'non-local'. In the same post, he suggested that Policy & Resources President Peter Ferbrache deserved to be Chief Minister because “he is local [and] Gavin St Pier is not."
Other instances saw Deputy Le Tissier tweet about the States while pretending that he was "listening while working from home". When Express put these allegations to him on Tuesday, he replied: "“I am not passing comment to the media on [about] social media.”
Earlier this morning, Express unearthed further pictures and information linking two accounts – the ‘Radio Sutch’ Youtube page and a deleted Twitter account @Radiosutch299.
In several 'Radio Sutch' videos, Deputy Le Tissier is clearly identified as the one filming as he turns the camera on himself.
Pictured: One of the times that 'Radio Sutch' identified himself in a YouTube video. The video contains a surreal depiction of the USA bombing Guernsey to a distorted rendition of 'Sarnia Cherie' on Liberation Day 2015. The video was taken offline last week.
On the back of these stories, he has admitted the Twitter account was his and claimed that it represented an "uncharacteristic lapse in judgment".
"I am sorry to admit that the Twitter profile, which has been the subject of a Bailiwick Express article, was mine. I have now deleted this profile.
"The profile was my personal Twitter account for about ten years. When I stood for election, I created a new profile for campaigning purposes but failed to delete my former personal profile.
"Many of my comments have been taken out of context, and I do not believe they constituted what is commonly described as "trolling". However, I admit that it was inappropriate for me to comment on things in such a manner after becoming an elected official. I also acknowledge that people may have been upset by some of my comments. That was not my intention, and I apologise for any offence caused."
Pictured: One of the offending tweets, the language of which was raised when Express tried to interview him this week.
Express contacted the Guernsey Party earlier this week, which said the allegations against Deputy Le Tissier were for their member to respond to.
In his statement, Deputy Le Tissier said: "I accept that my actions were mine alone and wish no censure is attached to The Guernsey Party.
"Once again, I can only offer my sincere apologies and regret for this uncharacteristic lapse in judgment and for any offence that my actions have caused."
His claim that the tweets were "uncharacteristic" has already drawn scrutiny, given how many there were and the way some were deliberately presented as being from a concerned member of the public, rather than an elected official.
The trolling is inarguable, despite his attempt to argue, but equally concerning is the tweet where he flat-out lied, saying he was a member of the public WFH and listening to the States meeting, so he could criticise it. Not very honest or the standard of conduct expected.— Loz McS (@McsLauren) March 4, 2021
There is a clear case for fellow States members to ask formal questions about Deputy Le Tissier's social media conduct. Members of the public are also able to trigger an independent investigation under the Code of Conduct.
States members sign an oath upon taking office, with the States Members' Code of Conduct stating that: "Members shall at all times conduct themselves in a manner which will tend to maintain and strengthen the public’s trust and confidence in the integrity of the States of Deliberation and never undertake any action which would bring the States, or its Members generally, into disrepute."
It also states that: "Members shall at all times treat other Members, civil servants and members of the public with respect and courtesy and without malice, notwithstanding the disagreements on issues and policy which are a normal part of the political process."
There is little doubt that the tweets do not treat other States' members with "respect", or that they represent the kind of behaviour that will "maintain and strengthen the public's trust and confidence in the integrity of the States of Deliberation".
In fact, Deputy Le Tissier's misdirection - by commenting on States matters under the pretence of a non-elected observer - threatens to have the opposite effect if a blind eye is turned. The Guernsey Party's own actions will reveal a lot about how it deals with such behaviour by its political members.
However, at this point in time, no Code of Conduct complaints have been submitted by elected officials or members of the public calling for further investigation of Deputy Le Tissier's covert online behaviour.
He trolled certain deputies last term and candidates this election, and it seems it was his intention to continue doing so...until he got caught out.— Lisa Vahey (@lisavahey77) March 4, 2021
However, unless a formal complaint is made, nothing will change.
I don't think "failing to delete" is the issue here.— Guernsey Donkey (@donkey_gsy) March 4, 2021
Continuing to use to knowingly attempt to deceive and potentially worse is rather more than a "lapse".
No, we can have a system with standards— Ross Le Brun (@RossLeBrun) March 4, 2021
If you are breaking the code of conduct that’s like gross misconduct in the real world
In the real world a business would recognise and get rid of a staff member like that
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