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Minister Bush loses Home Affairs ministry

Government 11 Apr, 2022 Follow News

Minister Bush loses Home Affairs ministry

As of Monday, Minister Bernie Bush is no longer the Minister of Home Affairs, passing that responsibility to Health and Wellness Minister Sabrina Turner because of what the Premier Wayne Panton termed “infringements of Section 55 of the Constitution and breaches to two sections of the Ministerial Code of Conduct”.

Section 55 of the Constitution deals with special responsibilities of the Governor.

Without giving any details as to what these infringements may have been, the Premier said in a statement:

“The PACT Government adopted a Ministerial Code of Conduct on 27 July 2021 and in so doing, made a commitment to not only uphold the Code of Conduct, but to accept consequences if the Code was breached by a Minister.”

He went on to say: “Minister Bush’s conduct and comments in relation to the staffing of the Fire Service are infringements of Section 55 of the Constitution and breach Section 2.4 of the Ministerial Code of Conduct. Furthermore, other comments he made as Minister contravene Section 2.6.3 of the Ministerial Code of Conduct.”

The Premier said all Ministers agreed to hold themselves to certain standards of conduct when adopting the Ministerial Code of Conduct last year. The consequence for this breach was, in part, that the responsibility for the Ministry of Home Affairs was reassigned to Minister Sabrina Turner, effective Monday, 11 April 2022.

In addition to the above, the Premier also required Minister Bush to apologise for his conduct to the Governor, Deputy Governor and the former Acting Chief Officer in the Ministry of Home Affairs, and he will be subject to two weeks unpaid leave effective Monday, 18 April.

During Minister Bush’s leave, Parliamentary Secretary Isaac Rankine will act as Minister of Youth, Sports, Culture and Heritage.

“This has been a valuable lesson for me and I accept the consequence of my actions. The Premier continues to have my full confidence and support,” said Minister Bernie Bush.

Notwithstanding the above, the Premier went on to say he felt Bush could still make a valid contribution to political life in areas which are his expertise.

“I believe Minister Bush can make a substantial contribution to the good of our country in the areas of youth, sports, culture and heritage,” he said. “These subjects align well with his interests and experience and his passion. I am optimistic that the unfortunate events of the past will bear no reflection on his future performance.”

“My hope is that Members of Parliament will adopt broadly similar obligations and standards in a Parliamentary Code of Conduct to be observed by all members of Parliament, and if that Code is breached, Members of Parliament should similarly face consequences,” the Premier concluded.

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