"Department 'in need of reform' says Cannan"

“The chief minister has asked Chris Thomas to step down from his role as Minister for the Department of Infrastructure.

In a statement issued this morning, Alfred Cannan says: 'It has become increasingly clear that the DOI with its varying range of responsibilities remains a difficult department to oversee and effectively lead and, as I have made clear previously, is in need of reform.'

'Whilst I am very grateful for the work that Chris Thomas has undertaken to review some areas of operations, there are many matters that now need to be refreshed and reconsidered to determine a clarity of direction that will ensure the effective delivery of services into the future.

'It is now therefore my intention to assume (in the short term) Ministerial responsibility for the Department and initiate a more rapid reform process.This will include consideration of the allocation of responsibility for services across Government and the creation of different oversight mechanisms.

'I want to thank Chris for his contribution. I have no doubt that he will continue to input effectively on public policy debates and I hope that we can work together again in the future.'

Mr Thomas has been Infrastructure Minister since June 2022 when he took over the role from Peel and Glenfaba MHK Tim Crookall.

It's not the first time he's been asked to step down from a ministerial role, in 2020 the Douglas Central MHK was sacked from his role as Policy and Reform Minister after his actions were deemed to be 'at odds with the collective responsibility'.

In a comment issued this lunchtime, Mr Thomas says: “My focus today is a smooth transition. I look forward to continuing to support the many people who are working so hard and with some success to remediate the real challenges around Infrastructure and other things like transport, flood risk and our territorial seas.”

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