28 November 2023
Statement from Women in Public Life
In response to speeches relating to bullying during the Motion of No Confidence debate in the States of Deliberation on 24 November 2023
We are deeply concerned by the allegations of bullying towards both deputies and civil servants made in the States on Friday.
Women in Public Life specifically inspires and supports the women of Guernsey to stand for public office but our concern applies equally to male candidates and States members, and all civil servants.
It appears that, by inspiring people to stand for the States, we may be encouraging them to take up employment in a workplace that could be detrimental to their wellbeing.
Deputy Gabriel described “table-thumping, aggression and machismo”. Deputy De Sausmarez spoke of a “viscerally aggressive tone and incivility”.
Our concern is compounded by the number of deputies who seemed to accept and downplay poor behaviour.
Today we have written to the CI Commissioner for Standards, Dr Melissa McCullough, to draw her attention to the debate. The Commissioner has the power to initiate an investigation.
We have a duty of care to those we encourage to stand so it is important for us, and for potential candidates, to know whether these allegations are true and, if so, what is being done to rectify the situation. It’s also important for Guernsey as a whole. Poor behaviour leads to poor decision making for the Bailiwick.
As we said at our event in June: ‘It doesn’t have to be this way’.