‘It’s not about me’: Standards czar quashes criticism on his political past

George Hyzler: ‘If you don’t want someone with a political past, don’t appoint one’

Photo: Office of the Commissioner for Standards in Public Life
Photo: Office of the Commissioner for Standards in Public Life

Standards Commissioner George Hyzler quashed criticisms over his political past, arguing that he was appointed unanimously between the two political parties in parliament.

In a rare chance to field questions from journalists, Hyzler explained that parliament wanted someone from a political background who could understand better the nature of the role.

“This is a post that requires unanimity. If you don’t want someone with a political past in the role then don’t appoint them,” he stated.

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Hyzler remarked that it makes more sense to have someone from the Opposition camp in the role, allowing them to observe government with heightened scrutiny. 

“I pride myself in that every single report issued so far has not been criticised on its merits. When [a report] is not liked by one side or the other, the accusation would be levelled at me for my political past,” he continued. “I have no problem rising above my political past, and quite frankly, if you want to appoint a person to the role, it should be from the Opposition.”

He admitted that his political background could serve as baggage, but emphasised that his role is not to scrutinise politicians of the past.

“I’m not being put there thinking that I will excuse misconduct because I might have had some baggage. It’s not about me, it’s about the current politicians.”

One of Hyzler’s more vocal critics is Labour Party whip Glenn Bedingfield, having accused the commissioner in parliament of failing to investigate government MPs objectively while claiming his allegiances still lie with the Nationalist Party.

The Labour MP further stated last May that Government should not have appointed a former MP to the post, and that the law ought to be amended so that the instance isn’t repeated.

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