Axed Minister for Education, Sport and Culture has hit out at the decision to sack her from the top job.

In a strongly-worded statement, Onchan MHK Julie Edge said the appointment of her successor to the Council of Ministers highlighted ‘a lack of a clear plan or direction’ within the Isle of Man Government.

Ms Edge claims she was told on Wednesday afternoon that she would be removed from the ministerial position.

Chief Minister Alfred Cannan MHK confirmed the news in a statement this evening (Thursday), announcing Daphne Caine MHK as her replacement with immediate effect.

But less than an hour after Ms Edge’s departure was announced, she issued a statement of her own, saying that, as the ‘difficult woman’ who regularly challenges government decisions, she was not surprised by the move.

Ms. Edge, who had been the Minister for Education, Sport, and Culture since 2021, also claims that she told the Chief Minister on Tuesday that she had planned to speak out on whistleblowing and that her sacking in the wake of the disclosure 'speaks volumes.’

Ms Edge’s statement reads: ‘Naturally I am disappointed to become the latest in an increasing list of Ministers who have been appointed and then asked to stand down from the Cannan administration, although, to some extent, as the “difficult woman” who regularly challenges decisions and offers the public perspective, I am not surprised.

‘The fact I was informed of the news this afternoon (Wed), 24 hours after I told the Chief Minister of my intention to speak publicly about my pre-determined position on whistleblowing and the government’s management of the Dr Rosalind Ranson case and the Richard Wright KC report debated in Tynwald this week, speaks volumes to me.

‘So does the fact that Daphne Caine – who I wish well – has been appointed my successor a matter of weeks after she was appointed to the Department for Enterprise as Political Member, with specific responsibility for Visit Isle of Man and Motorsport, highlighting a lack of a clear plan or direction.

‘I wish to thank all my colleagues, officers and staff in the Department, along with those in schools, at UCM, and those who work in sports, arts and culture.

‘I am proud of how much we have achieved together over a short space of time and their dedication to education and children, skills, development and life-long learning is exemplary.

‘My focus today is on a smooth transition.

‘I stand by the number of initiatives we have delivered and continue to progress, many of which will shortly come to fruition, and the tough decisions we have had to take in the Department over the past two and a half years.

‘Like my colleague in Onchan who was removed as a Minister after a matter of weeks, I will stand up for what I believe in and always listen to and represent the people of Onchan and the wider Island.

‘I will, of course, continue to support the government in pursuit of policies which align with my own and I wish my successor well.’

Announcing Ms Edge’s departure from the Council of Ministers, the Chief Minister said: ‘I’d like to place on record my sincere thanks to Julie for her dedication and hard work in representing the Department for Education, Sport and Culture for the past two and a half years.

‘While the brief has thrown up a number of challenges during this time, Julie has always conducted herself with diligence, dignity and a strong sense of duty.’

He added: ‘I believe it is an appropriate time to make this change and to introduce a fresh perspective to the Council of Ministers. I need to balance the need for continuity with opportunities to allow for fresh thinking as the administration pursues its objectives around the Island Plan and Economic Strategy.’