Thank you Mr Speaker 

I am somewhat surprised that we are here yet again discussing the removal of the Lord Bishop’s right to vote in Tynwald and Legislative Council, especially when this item was only discussed in June this year. 

The Hon Member for Ramsey as the current Minister for Health and Social Care for the Isle of Man is no doubt fully aware that his Department and Manx Care are currently facing some serious issues around recruitment, retention and from a financial point of view. 

The Minister’s full attention at the moment should therefore be around setting and delivering a long term strategy to improve the Isle of Man’s Health and Social Care Service for the people of this island, instead of “navel gazing” around the Bishops Vote.  

I wish the Minister would spend just one lunchtime speaking to people in Strand Street or Parliament Square in Ramsey, because most of them would tell the Hon Member very clearly that they don’t care about the Bishop’s Vote….

What they do care about, is how the Hon Member for Ramsey intends to improve health and social care services on the island, especially when we have 4,200 people waiting to access an NHS dentist, island residents having to wait weeks just to see their local doctor, and thousands of people waiting up to a year for a first referral to see a consultant.  

We know that this topic forges strongly held opinions; especially on whether or not the Lord Bishop should have a vote in the future, and whether he should be on the Legislative Council at all. 

I know from speaking too so many of my own Constituents in Onchan back in May and June this year, this isn’t a high priority discussion point. 

We really do need to start focusing and delivering on some of the key promises that this administration has set out very clearly within the island plan. 

I will therefore be voting against this motion here today. 

Thank you Mr Speaker