Tynwald has backed the proposition of a review into the Dr Ranson affair.

It was given almost full support by members, with only one against.

It came after Chief Minister Alfred Cannan made a statement in the House of Keys last week following the conclusion of the remedy hearing.

He apologised to Dr Ranson publicly and has now confirmed he has followed this up with a written apology.

Mr Cannan said the tribunal decision has brought to light some ‘detrimental’ and ‘damaging’ behaviour and ‘improper conduct’.

Therefore, there is a need to make structural changes to the government, however, these won’t ‘happen overnight’.

‘I lay the foundations for change with urgency,’ Mr Cannan said.

He explained that there are ‘three arms’ to this response. These include the Covid review being a forum for examination of the impact of suppressed information Dr Ranson may have had and how these can be avoided in the future.

Also, it will ensure our public service works to the highest standards of governance, so the government doesn’t rely solely on high level individuals.

He added: ‘The third element was this responsibility on all of us – to ensure we strive for excellence in performance.

‘It takes a long protracted effort to make sure things change. Everyone has to be a part of the solution and we must work together.’

Mr Cannan wants a review to take place in a timely manner and to appoint a retired high court judge to do this.

Findings should be laid before the December 2023 sitting of Tynwald.

Many members of Tynwald commented on the level of distrust in the government following the case’s tribunal. 
Tim Glover resigned from his post in the Department of Infrastructure, stating he wants ‘nothing to do’ with this administration until the building of trust is honoured.

He said: ‘My challenge is prove me wrong and I hope you do.

‘I will write later to the Chief Minister to resign as a department member.

‘People need to be accountable. The full power of the state must never be used to destroy someone ever again.

‘Sorry does seem to be the hardest word to say.’

To this, Mr Cannan said: ‘Whilst he goes off to the backbenches the rest of us will work to create a better government.’

Garff MHK Daphne Caine said she didn’t hold such a ‘bleak’ view of the current administration, saying: ‘There are many good people but the system is broken.’

Mr Cannan replied: ‘I don’t believe we will ever move from a position where there will be cases that cause concern.

‘In a staff of 7,500 or so there will be individuals who perceive they have a case that needs answering.

‘That does start at the top, particularly in how people treat and talk about these matters in this honourable court.

‘This will go some way in restoring public confidence.’

Douglas North MHK John Wannenburgh added: ‘I do not wish to be part of a witch hunt. I am deeply disturbed by the unfolding saga.’

He explained that Dr Ranson was ‘marginalised because she spoke truth to power’ and had her reputation ‘crushed’.

Former health minister David Ashford apologised for what happened to Dr Ranson.

It was his first time speaking on the case since his resignation as minister last year. He labelled the behaviours outlined as ‘abhorrent and disgusting’.

‘Some of it was down-right malicious,’ he added.

He explained he had kept his silence over the last 12 months to respect the court.

Mr Ashford suggested that anyone who thinks that changing a minister for a department will change the culture within it is ‘deluded’.

He has since denied claims he ‘ignored’ Dr Ranson during her time as medical director.

The tribunal heard Dr Ranson wanted to report directly to Mr Ashford rather than through the then-Department of Health and Social Care chief executive Kathryn Magson, but she was told she must report to her.

He told Manx Radio: ‘That is nonsense. At no point in time did I ignore Dr Ranson, I am absolutely adamant about that.’

Onchan MHK Julie Edge feels whistleblowers are an ‘important part of any democracy’ and that issues raised are in ‘all of our interests’.

‘Elected representatives turning a blind eye creates a strength in these behaviours,’ she said.

The MHK added that government representatives ‘need to start admitting’ to behaviours at the first opportunity.

‘A whistleblower being victimised is all of our concerns,’ Ms Edge said. 
The Chief Minister responded to the concerns voiced by members. 
He said: ‘This proposal will not solve all the problems. There are multiple strands of this. The Covid review has a role to play in this and the second element is this proposed inquiry.’ 
He addressed the fact there is a lot of work still to do and he will come back with more proposals.

‘I am now more than ever convinced this inquiry and review must take place to substantially address some of those serious concerns,’ Mr Cannan said.

‘It is clear from some of that language this morning there is an allegation that somehow senior members of government have continued to conspire to directly harm Dr Ranson.

‘I expect those members to give full evidence to a high court judge of those allegations.’

He proposed that a select committee be formed and a retired high court judge be appointed to conduct the review. 
A select committee of three members was elected by members of Tynwald.

Daphne Caine, Sarah Maltby and Stu Peters were selected.