Reform Jersey candidate for Constable of St Brelade, Marilyn Carré, has decided to withdraw from the election.
Ms Carré decided to run for election as Constable of St Brelade just two days prior to the nomination deadline. She was assisted by Reform Jersey to complete her nomination form to enable her candidacy.
At several points during these two days, Ms Carré or a representative on her behalf attended the St Brelade Parish Hall to present her nomination form to ask for confirmation that those who had signed it were eligible to do so and that she had the correct details filled in.
At no point during this time did any member of staff at the Parish Hall express any concern at her nomination paper, except for one incorrect address which was then quickly corrected.
During the nomination meeting, her nomination form was handed in and accepted as a complete and accurate document, and an election was declared.
On Friday afternoon, the Viscount’s officers served notice to Ms Carré that she was to attend the Royal Court this Thursday because of a discrepancy surrounding her nomination, which had been raised by the Parish Secretary of St Brelade.
It was claimed that her personal details and the party declaration on her nomination form had not been fully completed before the 10 nominators had signed her form (though photographic evidence clearly shows that both sections had been partially completed).
This was an honest mistake on the part of Ms Carré and Reform Jersey, who were rushing to complete the form in a short period of time. The guidance notes attached to the nomination form make no reference to the order in which each section must be completed, and she had specifically attended the Parish Hall to make sure that she was doing things properly.
Those who signed Ms Carré’s nomination form were completely aware that she was standing as a Reform Jersey candidate, and none of them have complained or alleged that they were unaware that she would be endorsed by the party.
Court proceedings were initiated because of an innocent administration error, which nobody has complained about and which makes no material difference to the election.
We are disappointed that this has been handled in such a heavy-handed way. It is regrettable that rather than attempt to investigate the matter further or contact Ms Carré to inform her of her belated discovery of this discrepancy, the Parish Secretary of St Brelade instead chose to contact the Royal Court as the first port of call.
Having simply put forward her name to serve her community and try to make a positive difference for her Parish, and then facing the prospect of being forced through a stressful and upsetting court hearing, Ms Carré feels that she can no longer contest the election.
Reform Jersey completely supports Ms Carré’s decision and are extremely sorry that she has been put through this.