Deputy Lester Queripel 'hurt' by xenophobia allegations

Deputy Lester Queripel
Image caption Accusations had upset him greatly, Deputy Queripel said

A politician may make a formal complaint over allegations made against him in the States of Guernsey.

Deputy Lester Queripel was criticised following a speech in favour of plans to limit employment-permit holders to just one job.

Deputy Barry Brehaut said the speech on Wednesday appeared "xenophobic".

Mr Queripel told BBC News: "Those accusations didn't only hurt me, they rocked me to my very soul and upset me greatly."

During his speech Mr Queripel said overseas workers in Guernsey were sometimes working about 70 hours a week or more, holding down two to three jobs.

He said while he could not fault their commitment to working and making money, the system had to be changed to protect jobs for islanders.

"The unintended consequences of allowing overseas workers to have more than one job is that the opportunities for our young people and pensioners are no longer there... and we really need to address these problems and support our own people," he said in the States.

Mr Brehaut said: "The narrative of [Mr Queripel's] speech, to me, appeared to be xenophobic and that's why I got to my feet."

He said such comments could encourage discrimination against people who "come to this island and make great sacrifices".

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