A row has broken out between Peel’s MHK and a Peel Town Commissioner after the recent requisition meeting held over the controversial ‘toilet tax’.
In an email sent to Tynwald, members of the Legislative Council and the press after the meeting, Peel commissioner Ian Davison accused the town’s MHK Tim Crookall of saying that ‘he had already agreed with Mr Bell, was voting for the tax and he did not care what his constituents thought and that if he was wrong this would reflect in the next [general] election in 2016, if he stands for re-election’.
Mr Crookall responded in an email to Mr Davison, also copying in politicians and press.
He strenuously denied that he had made such a statement during the meeting, saying: ‘I categorically state that at no time at all did I say “I do not care what my constituents thought”, also, I did not say anything about “if I stand for re-election”.
‘What I did say was that the constituents would judge me at the next election.’
Mr Crookall then asked Mr Davison to retract the statement.
But Mr Davison has replied to the request in a further email, saying: ‘I am unprepared at this time to retract any words that you disagree with, which you say were not the words you used at the requisition meeting, until I speak again with the people at the meeting who put this particular question to you and ask them again for clarification.
‘The recollections were written with consultation with some of the people at the meeting who asked you questions.
‘I will ask the television people for a copy of the recording made and then a decision can be made based on exactly what you did, or did not, say and if any of the comments need to be retracted then they will be.’
Mr Davison’s email went on to say: ‘I did hear at the meeting that decision had been agreed by the Council of Ministers of which Mr Bell is the Chief Minister, it therefore seems that you have agreed with Mr Bell on this decision does it not?
‘Or are you prepared to stand against him and vote no?
‘If there was care for what the constituents thought, you would have asked their views first, and stood with what the majority of the constituents voted you in to do, which is represent their views.’
A petition against the tax, with more than 6,300 signatures, was handed to Tynwald on Tuesday (see page 3).
The commissioner also confirmed that he and Peel’s Geoff Birkett had responded privately to Treasury Minister Eddie Teare MHK over an issue regarding his inability to attend last week’s requisition meeting.
Other members of government that did attend the meeting were Social Care Minister Chris Robertshaw and Michael MHK Alfred Cannan.