4th May 2016

Role of Chief Minister of Guernsey abolished

The Chief Minister of Guernsey was once the island’s Prime Minister. He (for the post was only ever occupied by a man throughout the 12 years of its existence) chaired the Policy Council. In doing so, he oversaw the ten heads of department that administered the Bailiwick of Guernsey.

The role was abolished on 4 May 2016 and replaced by the President of the Policy and Resources Committee. Whoever occupied this position was also given the title Chief Minister, which harks back to the abolished role, but doesn’t entirely replicate it.

The Chief Minister of Guernsey

The Chief Minister of Guernsey chaired policy meetings and was the island’s representative to the outside world. Initially, candidates were required to have served as a Deputy for at least four out of the previous eight years before they could be considered for the role. However, this requirement was dropped in 2012. This greatly increased the number of candidates eligible for selection. Following the change, anyone elected to the States, regardless of their length of service could stand for election.

The first Deputy elected to the role of Chief Minister was Laurie Morgan. Born in London in 1930, he was elected to the States in 1988, and represented St Peter Port from 2000. He had come to Guernsey to work for a merchant bank and later worked for the Post Office. He died on 18 January 2018.

In total, five men served as Chief Minister: Laurie Morgan, Mike Torode, Lyndon Trott, Peter Harwood and Jonathan Le Tocq. Lyndon Trott’s tenure, from 2008 to 2012, was the longest. Mike Torode’s, of just over a year (5 March 2007 until 1 May 2008), was the shortest.

Chief Minister role abolished

The role of Chief Minister of Guernsey was abolished following the election of 2016. This election also saw the number of Deputies sitting in the States of Deliberation reduced from 45 to 38, plus two from Alderney.

The new President of the Policy and Resources Committee was elected by the Deputies, rather than the people, three days later. The successful candidate was Gavin St Pier. Jonathan Le Tocq, the former Chief Minister, was appointed the lead for external affairs.


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