Alf Cannan MHKThe Chief Minister has said calls for his dismissal from fellow politicians should be part of a ‘mature and robust debate’ in Tynwald rather than on social media.

Alfred Cannan MHK has also said he needs to ‘understand what the problem actually is that the MHKs are articulating’.

It comes after Onchan MHK Rob Callister asked residents on Facebook whether the Isle of Man should follow the Channel Islands and oust its government, and more recently Arbory, Castletown and Malew MHK Tim Glover has done the same to his constituents.

Last week the Budget was announced, with a 2% rise in income tax, as well as what many have described as a general ‘declining quality of life on the Isle of Man’.

Mr Callister originally asked whether the Isle of Man is ‘really asking their politicians to follow the same path (as Guernsey and Jersey) and make a genuine mid-term change of direction in this government and administration?’

And following feedback he said was collected on his initial post along with comments on various media outlets, Mr Callister believes the answer is a resounding yes.

He’s now calling on other MHKs to ask the same question of the current administration. He said: ‘It’s now for my political colleagues to ask the same question to their constituents, because a single MHK cannot bring the change without the support of political colleagues and the Manx public.’

But Mr Cannan believes these types of debates should be settled within the House of Keys, rather than polls and comments on social media.

He said: ‘I’m not above scrutiny, I’m not above challenge, and I’m certainly not infallible, but I do think that these challenges need to be brought about as part of mature and robust debate in Tynwald and on the floor of the House of Keys. And not on social media.

‘And people really need to articulate what the problems are, but also what the potential solutions are as well.’

He added that he needs to understand what the actual problems are, as ‘there is a clear majority support for what the government are doing’ from the politicians.

He said: ‘What I need to understand is what the problem actually is that they are articulating, because Tynwald supported the Island Plan, majority supported the budget, Tynwald has pretty much majority supported everything that the council has brought through to tackle the problems that we’re facing.

‘So based on the fact that there is clear majority support for what the government is doing, then one needs to articulate why they have brought about this particular challenge.’

When asked if Mr Cannan believes the public have trust in him or the current administration, he alluded to how much this government has overcome during their time.

He said: ‘If you balance out what we’ve been through in terms of COVID, Ukraine war, the employment tribunal, the impacts of all that in terms of the cost of living crisis, energy bills, and health impacts, education impacts, then you will understand we’ve probably been through more than two and a half years than any other previous government in in in history in terms of the the actual impacts these these events have had.

‘And in such a short space space of time, but we’ve come through them. And we’re in a strong place. And we need to keep going keep believing that we will come out of this with a better stronger island.’

The Chief Minister also commented on the recent sacking of Julie Edge, which was described by government as a ‘strategic mid-term change’.

He said the decision was made after a lot of consideration. Mr Cannan added: ‘Part of our responsibility is that we’ve got a good, cohesive, cordial, well functioning Council of Ministers that is able to debate and have the issues brought out in a proper, mature, sensible way.’

Source: iomtoday.co.im