The residents of Lonan have held a special meeting to discuss their anger at Garff MHK Andrew Smith u-turn on assisted dying.

Mr Smith had gone on record on the campaign trail voicing his support for assisted dying, only to later become one of the two MHKs to vote against Dr Allinson’s Bill on the issue, the other being Peel and Glenfaba MHK Kate-Lord Brennan.

And asked if he was in favour of assisted dying in an Isle of Man Newspapers questionnaire in September, which asked all candidates the same questions before the general election, he answered: ‘Yes, but there would have to be an exceptionally detailed consultation with the population and well drafted legislation in support.’

The captain of the parish for Lonan, Stephen Carter, was required to hold a requisition meeting after he received letters with 12 verified signatures calling for one.

It is understood that this is the first time a requisition meeting has been held to discuss the conduct of an MHK, with them typically being called for pre general election debates.

Mr Smith fielded questions from the audience, with some members in the public in support of assisted dying, and others opposed.

Mr Smith voluntarily attended the meeting at the Baldrine Methodist Sunday School (as there was no power to order him to be there), saying that ‘I don’t shrink from any issue’.

The MHK gave a statement, where he stressed the he had ‘never canvassed on the issue of assisted dying’, and that it was not one of his policies or key campaign issues.

He explained that the issue came up only once during a televised debate.

He said: ‘Although not fully conversant with the issues surrounding assisted dying, I deliberated over the general debate and in an effort to show some compassion and attempt to view the bigger picture and place my own personal views to one side, I said I would give support to the issue.’

He went on to say that after being elected, and before the debate on the Bill in May he had continued his research on the issue, looking at assisted dying laws in other countries.

‘The more I explored in depth, the more complex the issues became,’ he added.

In an interview with Paul Moulton, the MHK apparently referenced the law in the Netherlands (where euthanasia is legal for children over 12 with parental consent and if they are in ‘great pain’).

As for voting against the Bill, he said: ‘The thing is if you give your consent at the outset of the reading of a bill, that’s a slippery slope – how do you then come back and say “sorry, I shouldn’t have done that”.

He stressed that his vote was based both on his research and his Christian faith.

At the end of the meeting, he stated: ‘Looking at the research I’ve done, there’s no way I’m anywhere near changing my mind on this stance of opposing assisted dying.’

Former Lieutenant Governor Sir Laurence New also spoke at the end of the debate, saying: ‘The whole business of euthanasia has been hijacked.

‘It is no longer what it set out to be as a last resort, it has become the norm’, he added, referencing teenagers in Holland who can choose to die because they are “tired of life”.

There was no formal outcome to the meeting, and in closing it Mr Carter said: ‘Whether you feel that this meeting has been of help or useful is entirely up to yourselves’.

The meeting has no power to force an MHK to do anything.

In the general election, Mr Smith won his seat with 91 more votes than third-placed Gareth Young.