Premier Dwight Ball has confirmed that Eddie Joyce has voluntarily removed himself from the Liberal caucus following a controversy over alleged harassment.
Government House Leader Andrew Parsons adjourned the House abruptly after the harassment allegations prompted a political firestorm.
Fellow cabinet minister Sherry Gambin-Walsh confirmed earlier today that she was the one who raised concerns about Joyce’s behaviour.
Joyce named Gambin-Walsh this morning as the one who lodged the complaint, prompting his removal from caucus.
Joyce will sit as an independent MHA pending the outcome of an independent review into the allegations.
Others are now coming forward including Opposition MHA Tracey Perry told reporters this afternoon that the “culture of bullying is alive and well in the House of Assembly.”
She will be filing an official complaint regarding an incident that occurred to her in the fall.
NDP Leader Gerry Rogers says she does not agree with today’s adjournment, and instead wanted a recess to deal with the allegations.
She says a recess would have allowed members to discuss what she calls the “vengeful act of calling out and publicly naming the women who had laid complaints regarding Mr. Joyce.”
VOCM News is following the story and will have more information as it becomes available.
House Adjourns Following Harassment Firestorm
Government House Leader Andrew Parsons has closed the House of Assembly until Monday in light of a political controversy involving allegations of harassment in the Liberal caucus.
Parsons adjourned debate this afternoon after questions surrounding the alleged harassment of one Liberal cabinet by another.
Opposition Leader Paul Davis raised the allegations in the House of Assembly Tuesday, setting off a political firestorm in the legislature.
Today it was revealed that the allegations came from Sherry Gambin-Walsh against Eddie Joyce. Premier Dwight Ball has asked Joyce to step aside from his cabinet responsibilities until an external investigation is complete.
Earlier today Parsons indicated that it was too bad the matter has taken on such political overtones.
Premier Dwight Ball has asked Eddie Joyce to step aside from his ministerial duties as an investigation is conducted into allegations of harassment from a fellow caucus member.
VOCM News has confirmed that the complainant is cabinet minister Sherry Gambin-Walsh.
The Premier issued a statement this morning indicating that he takes the complaints seriously.
Ball says he had a follow-up meeting with the complainant last night and an independent external review has been launched.
While that is underway, Ball has asked Joyce to step aside and Justice Minister Andrew Parsons will assume the portfolios of Environment and Municipal Affairs.
Parsons told Paddy Daly on the VOCM Morning Show that such complaints have to be taken seriously.
He says it’s his understanding that the complainant came forward yesterday morning and that an independent review has been launched.
Opposition leader Paul Davis first raised the issue in the House of Assembly on Tuesday. Fellow cabinet minister Dale Kirby sent out an email seeking to find out who the leaked the information to the opposition. Parsons says he understands the frustration in that it involved a complaint made to the opposition.
He says these types of situations are difficult enough, but throwing politics into the mix makes it even tougher.