Ashford says he ‘acted appropriately’

By Gemma Nettle   |   Reporter   |
Tuesday 24th May 2022 2:37 pm
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David Ashford

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David Ashford has given an urgent personal statement in the House of Keys this morning following his resignation as Treasury Minister last week.

He thanked the chief minister and his colleagues for their support during his time as Treasury minister and as health minister.

Mr Ashford said ‘at all times’ he felt he had ‘acted appropriately’.

‘Under the system we have, when something goes wrong in a department it is the minister who must bear responsibility for that,’ he said.

The former minister added that the recent controversy regarding the employment tribunal which ruled in favour of former medical director Dr Rosalind Ranson.

In the tribunal report, Mr Ashford was described as ‘not always consistent’ in his evidence, and as overly reliant on former DHSC chief executive officer Kathryn Magson.

‘No one person or individual is bigger than the department they occupy,’ he added.

Mr Ashford explained that it should be the duty of a person to step aside if this does happen.

He said that the issue of culture in government is not something faced by one department and it’s not something new.

‘This needs to be a watershed moment for government as an organisation,’ he added. ‘Culture flows through an organisation like a river, from the top to the ground, every so often changing a person at the top doesn’t change things below.

‘If we are going to have one culture across government – and I’ve always held this radical notion – we need one Isle of Man Government.

‘It needs to be one identity.’

Mr Ashford added that he looks forward to supporting and scrutinising government decisions from the backbenches.