On Air Manx Radio Breakfast Alex Brindley & Sian Cowper | 7:30am - 9:30am

Commissioners reject claims of 'unfair' by-election

Candidate calls on central government to investigate

Members of the local authority have been quick to dismiss Mr Quirk's comments as 'unsavoury' and 'a cheap publicity stunt'.

The by-election, due to take place on 22 October, has now been cast into doubt after central government are said to have been asked to investigate.

Mr Quirk, who represented Onchan in the House of Keys from 2006 until 2016, told MTTV he asked the Commissioners for a copy of the electoral list in March this year.

"I'm using your media outlet now to prove to the people, and to the commissioners themselves and to the clerk [that I am officially standing]", he told presenter Paul Moulton.

"The clerk has a function and duty to the local authority and has to provide information to candidates who come forward.

"It is a concern to me now that I may not be being treated fairly.

"My only course of action now is to write to Tim Baker [Department of Infrastructure Minister] and ask the department to investigate."

The seven-minute video prompted several commissioners to address the issue at a board meeting on Monday evening (21 September).

A number of members read out prepared statements as they unanimously rejected accusations of bias.

The response came during the public session in which Mr Quirk, who has twice been chairman of the local authority between 1986 and 2006, was in attendance.

Commissioner Chris Quirk (no relation), said: "I found [the interview] a cheap publicity stunt which will prove counter-productive, if not potentially disastrous in many respects.

"As a member of the current board I am disgusted that a former national politician could even contemplate bringing other parties' integrity into disrepute in such a belligerent manner on such a public viewing format."

Fellow member Anthony Allen also weighed in, saying the comments made on MTTV were "not wholly truthful".

He went on: "I think really it's up to him to raise his standards to the levels that are expected of a commissioner."

Despite claims in the interview he had written to the DOI, it was noted in Monday's meeting that no formal complaint had been lodged.

The board unanimously voted through the Vexatious Complaints, Correspondence and Behaviour Policy as a direct result of the interview.

Any aspiring candidates for next month's by-election must submit their nominations by the end of office hours on Thursday, 24 September, before the electorate head to the polls on 22 October.

More from Isle of Man News