Beecroft’s motion on collective responsibility fails

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KATE Beecroft MHK has failed to persuade Tynwald to rethink the rules on collective responsibility at the top tier of Manx politics.

The Douglas South Liberal Vannin member tabled a motion before the court for an examination of the system.

Under the rules of collective responsibility, members of the Council of Ministers are expected to vote in favour of policies agreed by ministers on the floor of Tynwald.

Members of departments are expected to back their department’s policy, or resign or be sacked.

Under the Bell premiership, Peter Karran (Lib Van, Onchan) lost his job as education minister after he voted against agreed CoMin policy on the Pinewood Studios purchase.

Zac Hall (Onchan) and John Houghton (Douglas North) lost their jobs in the Department of Education and Children after they opposed their minister’s (Mr Karran’s) policy of privatising children’s nurseries.

Chief Minister Allan Bell (Ramsey) said that he didn’t believe the island would have been so successful economically if it had not moved to the ministerial system from the board system in the eighties.

He said that most countries’ governments worked under the principles of collective responsibility.

He described CoMin as a ‘permanent coalition’ but suggested that leading it was like herding cats.

Mrs Beecroft lost the debate with 19 votes against in the Keys and four in favour. MLCs voted unanimously against.

Click here to read more about Mrs Beecroft’s motion

For a full report on the debate see Monday’s Isle of Man Examiner.

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