Chief Minister to Face PAC Grilling over Steam Packet row

The Chief Minister, Chief Secretary and Director of Public Health will all be giving evidence to the Tynwald Public Accounts Committee on Wednesday, in what promises to be box office politics.

Chaired by Speaker Juan Watterson, PAC is conducting inquiries into the use of genomic sequencing in response to a pandemic and into the Steam Packet and the border protocols during the pandemic.

All three hearings will be held on Wednesday, April 28 and follow on from Dr Rachel Glover’s explosive PAC hearing earlier this month. Dr Glover spoke not only her relationship with the gov but also on detailed the island’s testing regime at the start of the pandemic and genomics role in that.

First up will be Dr Ewart, who will be giving evidence on both genomic testing and the Steam Packet from 10.30am.

She is followed by Mr Quayle at 2.30pm and Mr Greenhow at 3.30pm. However their evidence will focus on just the Steam Packet inquiry. The debacle over the issue of Steam Packet crews and border regulations led to one advocate saying it represented a ‘constitutional crisis’ for the island.

The other members of PAC are Onchan MHK Julie Edge, Douglas East MHK Chris Robertshaw, Liberal Vannin leader Lawrie Hooper Jane Poole Wilson MLC. Mr Robertshaw’s constituency colleague Clare Barber MHK has recused herself from the genomics inquiry.

All sittings can be heard live here and we will have a breakdown of the hearings later in the day.

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