Callister would still get his pay

As your readers are probably aware Rob Callister has to apologise to Tynwald at its next sitting over remarks he made in the period related to his sacking or he will be suspended from Tynwald.

Whether or not Rob will apologise is in the air as he says he ‘….could also refuse to apologise in Tynwald next month, especially when I am being asked to apologise for something I know that I didn’t say. Unfortunately, that course of action would simply implement a suspension from Tynwald, which would remain in place until I was prepared to apologise in a manner acceptable to the President of Tynwald’.

This brings into play whether, if he refused to apologise, he would continue to be paid, albeit without the uplift of £10,741.50 which he received when he was a minister.

He would, however, still be paid his basic salary of £71,610, which he could receive for doing nowt and he could receive this annual salary plus his pension rights, which would be attached to it until the end of the current parliamentary session in September 2026.

Strangely, though, although the Clerk of Tynwald has confirmed the above position, Rob appears incapable of understanding it.

In an e-mail to me Rob has stated: ‘To the best of my knowledge, if I do not apologise in Tynwald later on this month I will be suspended without pay, and that will remain the position until I am prepared to apologise to the satisfaction of the President of Tynwald.’

I’ve replied to Rob and said: ‘Your understanding of the position with regard to pay during your suspension (should that happen) isn’t correct. You would not be suspended without pay.’

Maybe it’s the case that Rob cannot understand the King’s English.

Incidentally, I cannot find anywhere in the Mark Egan report into Rob’s sacking anything which explains what powers the Chief Minister had to ‘sack’ Rob and where such powers are provided for – indeed Mark Egan doesn’t appear to have asked the Chief Minister about this despite this being an important aspect of the CM’s behaviour on which the Chief Minister referred himself to the Tynwald standards and members’ interests committee.

I gave a summary of the legal position to the members of the committee in which for the reasons explained I concluded that the Chief Minister didn’t have the power to sack Rob.

The Cabinet Office has confirmed, however, that the only document initially provided to Mark Egan was Alf Cannan’s self-referral which made no mention of whether he had the power to sack Rob.

On the face of it my conclusions were simply thrown into the long grass thus protecting this aspect of Rob’s sacking from investigation and thus protecting the Chief Minister from any criticism.

Trevor Cowin

Poortown Road


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This letter was first published in the Man Isle of Man Examiner of March 14.