28 March 2011
It is with considerable regret that I have to announce that Baroness Ford has decided to withdraw her candidacy as Chairman of the States of Jersey Development Company (SOJDC).
Margaret Ford could have been a very strong leader of the new SOJDC Board and could have brought a fresh and experienced approach.
Whilst the States have an absolute right to call any matter into scrutiny, such matters do need to be handled sensitively, properly and in a manner that ensures innocent parties are unaffected by politics. Sadly, the events of the last 2 weeks have undermined confidence and led to this extremely unfortunate situation.
We will consider all options concerning the appointment of a replacement Chairman over the next few days. However, I am concerned that we may find it increasingly difficult to identify people of calibre who are willing to put their names forward against such a background as this.
I hope the Scrutiny Review will be concluded speedily, and that the review will confirm not only that the recruitment process was robust and fair, but lessons will be learnt about the way such matters are handled in the future.
I have written to all the Board candidates expressing my confidence in their candidacies, and to Baroness Ford, expressing my deep regret at her decision but wishing her every success in the future.