British Virgin Islands

Monday, Sep 28, 2020

'Bullying & victimisation' more prevalent now than before - Hon Penn claims

Leader of the Opposition, Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) has again served up accusations that bullying and victimisation are being exercised by the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) administration.

"The issue of victimisation and the issue of cronyism, we are deeply concerned that after our November Press Conference, where we raised issues... that it's more prevalent now than before, persons are afraid to speak out, persons are afraid to speak against anything that the government is doing, fear of victimisation," he said.

HoA Members now being victimised - Hon Penn

Hon Penn was at the time speaking at today's Thursday, January 23, 2020, opposition press conference at the Office of the House of Assembly (HoA) boardroom in Road Town, Tortola.

With a now weakened Opposition, short of Hon Alvera Maduro-Caines (R6)-who bolted from the National Democratic Party (NDP) on January 20, 2020, to join up with the VIP Government-Hon Penn along with Hon Melvin M. Turnbull (R2) and Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3), raised a number of concerns against the current government.

According to the Opposition Leader, "It's already reached Members of the Honourable House of Assembly and their families, and this is a situation of concern for all of us."

Hon Penn, however, failed to specifically name the member whom he claimed was facing victimisation and bullying under the VIP Government.

"We have to say to the people of this Territory that, this a democracy... you have a right to hold your government accountable and you should do that without fear of victimisation or retribution, and the bullying and the victimisation that is happening currently is something that is of grave concern to us in a democracy," he said.

He pointed to more accusations of board members getting involved in the day to day running of institutions, calling for something to be done.

'Hypocrisy' - Hon Fahie

Premier Fahie could not be reached for comments regarding the new accusations; however, at the Thursday, November 14, 2019, Fourth HoA he called previous accusations 'hypocrisy' regarding claims of nepotism and cronyism.

"I’m not going to sit here and let anybody throw a set of mud on the wall and hope that it sticks on this government with things that are not factual," Premier Fahie said.

"All of a sudden they become integrity police, to tell you what's good and what's not," Hon Fahie told the House in relation to the Opposition's claims.

Opposition Member, Hon Mark H. Vanterpool (R4) was notably missing from today's Opposition press conference.


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