During a series of terse exchanges with Senator John Le Fondré and Home Affairs Minister Len Norman in the States yesterday, Deputy Kirsten Morel pressed for answers about the current situation with the prison governor, claiming ‘Islanders have a right to know who is running their prison’.
Speculation over whether Nick Cameron is still working has grown this week, with suggestions circulating that his deputy Nick Watkins is now in charge of HMP La Moye. Following questions from the JEP this week, Mr Norman said he was unaware of any changes at La Moye. And a spokesperson for the government said: ‘Nick Cameron is still in post as prison governor. The government will not comment further on internal matters, or those concerning its employees.’
However, in the States yesterday Deputy Morel said that the Chief Minister had told him during a Scrutiny Liaison Committee meeting that Mr Cameron was ‘currently not working’.
He asked Senator Le Fondré to confirm whether Mr Cameron was in the post, still working or suspended.
In response, Senator Le Fondré said: ‘As the Deputy should be aware we don’t comment on personnel matters while a process is being undergone. And that’s been the public position reported in the media today and reported to the SLC yesterday. The Deputy should be aware that any potential conversations that take place in the SLC are meant to be confidential and, on that basis, I make the same comment that I made yesterday that we don’t comment on personnel matters.’
Deputy Morel pursued the matter during a later question session with Mr Norman, who said: ‘The role of running the prison is the prison governor’s, and in his absence his management team or his deputy. As the Chief Minster said a few moments ago we will not discuss staff or personnel matters particularly when it’s about a named individual who has been identified.’
Later, Deputy Inna Gardiner asked Mr Norman to confirm or deny whether a request from the prison governor to put HMP La Moye into full lockdown at the start of the pandemic had been refused by the director-general.
The minister said that he ‘totally and absolutely’ denied this and added that the prison governor’s actions during the crisis had been ‘fully supported’ by the director-general.