Darius J. Pearce

Darius J. Pearce
Darius Pearce
2005 Promotional Literature Image
Municipality of St Helier, Jersey
In office
Dec 2005 – Dec 2008
Constituency St Helier, Jersey
Majority unopposed
Personal details
Born 23 February 1972 (1972-02-23) (age 39)
City of London
Children None
Residence St Helier, Jersey
Occupation Director
Religion Roman Catholic

Darius James Pearce (born 23 February 1972) is a Jersey politician.

Pearce was born in the City of London. He was educated at De La Salle College, Jersey. In 1997 he graduated from the University of Plymouth, where he read politics and criminal justice. In 2000 he qualified as an accountant and was appointed directorships in companies in Jersey involved in online marketing, fulfillment and accountancy. On 1 March 2009 he purchased his family's jewellery business outright.[1]

Contents

Political life

Darius Pearce first became politically active in November 2005 and has acted generally in opposition to the government of Jersey. As a leading member of the Centre Party (Jersey), he stood for Deputy in St Helier 3 & 4 districts, polling 459 votes (25%).[2] Subsequently, he was one of the founding members of Progress Jersey, a charity and pressure group whose aims include to encourage electoral turnout and voter knowledge - a group he served as Treasurer, until his resignation in May 2007.[3] He is also currently editor of Parish Matters, a quarterly newsletter produced by Progress Jersey for residents of the Parish of St Helier.[4]

Elected to the Municipality of the Parish of St Helier, Jersey, in December 2005, he currently serves as a Roads Inspector for the Roads Committee and has been a member of the Constable's Accounts Committee. He is also active in age of consent debates on sexual offences, and the effects of their interpretations in local law, European law and international law.[5]

Political activity

Pearce has opposed a number of government propositions.

He has made submissions to various Scrutiny Panels. This includes a submission regarding Jersey's tax changes, in 2005 he noted that the EU would oppose the tax changes that the Jersey government subsequently introduced. In 2009 the EU duly noted their objection to the revised tax codes adopted by Jersey. He also presented the idea of a Business Premises Tax, which was adapted into the "Blampied proposal".[6][7]

As a founder member, he has worked for Progress Jersey on a number of key issues including submissions made and accepted regarding the introduction of Abuse of Trust legislation, the review of changes to Jersey Taxation, Social Housing, Civil Partnerships, Legitimacy Laws and Overseas Aid.

Abuse of trust

He was responsible for the withdrawal of the initial proposition to lower the age of homosexual consent, this was later passed once the Abuse of Trust provisions were added to the amendment.[8][9]

No disorderly conduct offence

In 2007, he was involved with the successful campaign against the proposed Crime (Disorderly Conduct and Harassment) law, which was withdrawn amidst fears that it extended police powers too far.[10]

Reform of Jersey Legitimacy Laws

Darius Pearce on behalf of Progress Jersey made a submission to Jersey Scrutiny highlighting the inconsistency of the Legitimacy (Jersey) Law 1973, as amended with the position of Jersey as a signatory to the European Convention of Human Rights.

The proposition was accepted by scrutiny in June 2006 and the matter referred to the Legislation Committee. In January 2007, following the introduction of the Human Rights (Jersey) Law 2000 a case was bought before the Royal Court by a local lawyer who claimed that her illegitimate child was being discriminated against as he could not take the name of his father and that the fatherhood was not allowed to be recorded.

In June 2007 as part of her announcement to step down from office, the Home Affairs Minister Wendy Kinnard indicated that it was her intention to bring a change to the Legitimacy Law.[11]

In January 2008 the States of Jersey voted to introduce DNA tests where paternity of a child was contested,[12] and Home Affairs Minister Senator Wendy Kinnard publicly stated that she supported the introduction of the right of unmarried parents to name their child after the father.[citation needed]

Charged With Assault On His Wife

In November 2007, he appeared in the Magistrates Court, charged with assault on his wife (Catherine Pearce) which took place at his home. He was released on conditional bail and advised he must not go near his home or wife. However, he disregarded this order, and, on 10th September 2008, the Jersey Evening Post reported his imprisonment for two months for contempt of court, effectively finishing his career in local politics.

Party politics in Jersey

Pearce is a supporter of the introduction of political parties to Jersey.

He was a member of the Centre Party (Jersey) and ran the successful election campaigns in the 2005 elections for candidates Paul Le Claire and Kevin Lewis.

In May 2007 he revealed he was working towards rebranding as the Jersey Conservative Party, and stated his desire to contest the 2008 Jersey elections as a representative of that party. On 17 July the Centre Party announced that it would fight the next elections as the Jersey Conservative Party.[13]

He is also a member of the UK Conservative Party and has expressed a desire to foment stronger links with the United Kingdom Conservative Party.[13] A spokesman for the UK Conservative Party stated that Mr. Pearce, whilst not yet an official representative of the Conservative Party, had approached the party expressing an interest in re-establishing the Channel Islands branch of Conservatives Abroad and that he had been invited to talks in London.[14]

Party name on ballot paper

Following the Jersey Evening Post coverage of the idea of the Jersey Conservative Party, Pearce submitted a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission citing eighteen significant inaccuracies or misleading statements. The matter was resolved through mediation following the expansion of the debate on the importance of political parties in the revised Jersey constitution and an assurance from the JEP's editor of fair treatment in future.[15]

The matter added to the pressure that eventually led to the introduction of party names on Jersey ballot papers.[16]

Press resistance to party politics

In July 2007, immediately following the announcement that the Jersey Conservative Party would be established in opposition to the incumbent government, the Jersey Evening Post reported that he made an accusation that photos picturing Senator Frank Walker with Gordon Brown and Ian Paisley were faked to insert Senator Walker in a letter to Gordon Brown.[17] However, Progress Jersey reports described the photo as simply suspicious,[18] they further indicated that no letter had been sent.[19]

Pearce subsequently apologised, explaining that it was a private joke which had been blown out of proportion by the Jersey Evening Post[20] but expressed concerns with regard to a bias in the paper in favour of former managing director and then Chief Minister Frank Walker based on e-mail correspondence with the Chief Minister and the editor of the JEP, Chris Bright.[21]

References

  1. ^ "Probe into rates at Liberty Wharf Launched". Jersey Evening Post. 25 July 2011. http://www.thisisjersey.com/2011/07/25/probe-into-rates-at-liberty-wharf/. Retrieved 2011-08-03. 
  2. ^ Elect Jersey 2005 Website
  3. ^ Progress Jersey Website
  4. ^ Parish of St Helier Website
  5. ^ Scrutiny Report on Age of Consent Debate
  6. ^ Confirmation of the "Blampied proposal" as an issue: States Assembly question and answer, States of Jersey: Your Government Online website.
  7. ^ Parish Matters Quarter 2, 2007: Meet the team.
  8. ^ BBC - Jersey - In Your Words - Lobby your States Members
  9. ^ Progress Jersey on the Abuse of Trust Provision
  10. ^ Crime (Disorderly Conduct and Harassment), initial approval, 3 November 2006: Decisions, States of Jersey: Your Government Online website.
  11. ^ Jersey Evening Post, 1 June 2007.
  12. ^ Compulsory DNA testing in Jersey, in proving parentage: Citizens Advice Bureau, Jersey. Retrieved on 28 February 2008.
  13. ^ a b Jersey Evening Post, 21 May 2007.
  14. ^ Jersey Evening Post, 24 May 2007.
  15. ^ His own view of the 'fake photo' saga
  16. ^ Proposition for registration of Political Parties in Jersey: Retrieved on 27 July 2007.
  17. ^ Jersey Evening Post, 20 July 2007.
  18. ^ [1]| Frank Walker struggling to get in shot with PM]: Retrieved 20 July 2007.
  19. ^ [2]| Just how much editorial control does Frank Walker still have over the JEP]: Retrieved 20 July 2007.
  20. ^ australia bangkok barcelona canada dubai at progressjersey.com
  21. ^ It was uncovered that the photo had been taken using an extreme zoom on the lens to make it appear as though Frank Walker had been standing with the notable persons when in fact he was standing in a crowd behind.Just how much editorial control does Frank Walker still have over the JEP: Retrieved 20 July 2007.



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