A backbench MHK who has tabled a motion of no confidence in Health Minister David Anderson said he had done so ‘with deep regret’.
At a press conference, Laurence Skelly told reporters that he would take over as Minister if asked - but personal ambition had not been his motive for putting forward the motion.
The Rushen MHK said: ‘I want to make one point very clear. Those who know me know I don’t criticise lightly. This is not about the individual.
‘I made it clear I would do whatever job was necessary. I want to work with this government, I want to contribute. I never volunteered for a job. If there’s a job as a Minister I will do it. But this isn’t about personal ambition - it’s about the future of the Isle of Man.’
But Chief Minister Allan Bell said he was ‘disappointed’ Mr Skelly believed this was his only course of action and said it was ‘political naivety’ to believe he would sack a Minister just because backbenchers demanded he did so.
And he said: ‘Mr Skelly made it very clear that he believed he should be Minister for Health and he also indicated to me the backbench members he wanted as his department members.’
Mr Bell added: ‘It’s understandable that backbenchers are frustrated from time to time and also have personal ambitions for their own career paths in politics. As Chief Minister I have to be aware of that ambition but my over-riding responsibility is to ensure improvements of public services. That is my absolute priority.’
The Chief Minister said he had been looking at the political structure of the Council of Ministers and department memberships over the summer. ‘If there are changes they will be announced in due course,’ he said.
Mr Skelly said he and eight fellow backbenchers had decided to ‘take the honourable route’ in July when they had written to the Chief Minister calling for Mr Anderson to be replaced as Minister because of ‘serious issues’ about the running of Noble’s and health services.
He said: ‘To this date there has been no official response from the Chief Minister. Therefore with very deep regret I’ve put this motion forward. We need a root and branch review - there is no doubt about that. The political leadership set the strategy. It’s time for a change in direction, a change in leadership.’
He added: ‘I don’t think any vote of no confidence has succeeded. But what we will have is a national debate.’
Mr Bell said he had told a delegation of backbenchers in July that his priority was first and foremost to identify the problems at the hospital - and only then decide the best way forward.