Ninth District Representative and former Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Hon Vincent O. Wheatley has indicated, contrary to speculations, he voluntarily gave up his position as Minister to allow the Unity Government to form in May 2022.
Hon Wheatley was at the time a guest on the VIP Let's Talk radio show, along with Deputy Premier Hon Kye M. Rymer, and Hon Carvin Malone aired on March 21, 2023, on ZBVI 780 AM, while lamenting on projects he wished he could have completed before giving up the ministry to allow Hon Melvin M. Turnbull (R2) of Progressives Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) to get a cabinet portfolio.
Governor John J. Rankin, CMG said on
April 19, 2023, he is looking forward to working with whichever
Government is formed after the General Election to help further ensure
the good governance of the VI.
Ministry voluntarily given up - Hon Wheatley
“I gave up the Ministry to allow the unity government to function because I didn’t want to create any confusion about who's going to have what Ministry. I said I'll remove myself to avoid anybody trying to say because of me, we couldn’t form a unity government,” he added.
On May 4, 2022, the Government and Opposition announced a coalition government with the hope of staving off UK direct, which was the overarching recommendation following a Commission of Inquiry
. However, when the Unity Government was formed, there were speculations in some circles that Governor John J. Rankin, CMG wanted Hon Wheatley and then Minister for Health and Social Development Carvin Malone out of office.
This, however, was proven false when Mr Rankin
indicated that he had no say in who made up the members of the Unity Government or Cabinet.
Some candidates on the campaign trail have; however, been engaged in fearmongering, including maliciously claiming that the United Kingdom (UK) doesn’t want the VIP in office.
Hon Vincent O. Wheatley was at the time a
guest on VIP Let's Talk, along with Deputy Premier Hon Kye M. Rymer,
and Hon Carvin Malone on March 21, 2023.
Governor commits to working with any elected Gov't
Meanwhile, Gov Rankin has affirmed his commitment to working with any Government elected by the people of the VI.
“I look forward to working with whichever Government is formed after the General Election to help further ensure the good governance of the BVI,” Governor Rankin disclosed in his statement on the Audit Report on Fast Track Programme B34 on April 19, 2023.
Hon Wheatley further added that part of the reason he give up the ministry was, “I think at times like this you must put country above self and that's why I remove myself from the ministry at a point in time… the one thing I really wished I had gotten done and completed before I give up the ministry, was the land distribution programme.”
Hon Wheatley detailed that one project he said he wished he was about to complete before giving up his ministry was the local land distribution project, which he still remains passionate about.
At Large Representative and former Health Minister Hon Carvin Malone of the VIP also indicated nn the past that he gave up his Cabinet position for the Unity Government to be formed.