The Isle of Man’s Health Minister, David Anderson MHK, says he doesn’t know whether he will survive a Tynwald vote of no confidence.
Rushen MHK Laurence Skelly has tabled the vote of no confidence for this month’s Tynwald sitting – and has called a press conference to explain his reasons.
Mr Skelly is one of nine backbenchers who have called on for Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK to act as a ‘matter of urgency’ to restore confidence in the leadership of the health service by replacing the Minister.
Their move came after 10 hospital consultants signed a letter highlighting concerns about patient safety at Noble’s.
Asked whether he would survive the no confidence vote, Mr Anderson told the Manx Independent: ‘I can’t predict the will of Tynwald.’
He said he believed that the vote was ‘premature’ given that he had already referred himself to Tynwald’s standards committee over claims he misled parliament over whether the consultants had withdrawn their support for the letter.
Mr Anderson insisted again that he didn’t believe he had deliberately misled the court. ‘There were different interpretations. Time has moved on since then.’
Asked if he thought the issue had been handled well, he replied: ‘Everything can be handled better but I don’t think it was handled badly.
‘This doesn’t normally get in the public domain – issues are dealt with internally. We don’t comment on every internal issue – why should we?’
Speaking after Tynwald members were briefed on the steps taken to minimise the risks to patient safety – risks that are present in all hospitals. The Minister insisted: ‘We are not resting on our laurels’.
He dismissed the suggestion that he had been sidelined when the Chief Minister announced he was intervening personally to tackle the issues at Noble’s.
Mr Skelly confirmed his motion had gone forward. It reads simply ‘That Tynwald has no confidence in David Anderson MHK as the Minister for Health.’
The Rushen MHK insisted this was ‘not a personal issue’. He declined to comment on whether or not he had put his name forward for the Health Minister’s job.
Mr Bell said: ‘He would not turn down the job if it was offered to him.’