Chairman of the National Democratic Party (NDP), Marlon Penn, has announced that fervent moves are now afoot to remove Deputy Premier Lorna Smith, OBE from his party.
In a joint press conference held with members of the political opposition today, Penn expressed in no uncertain terms that Smith moved unilaterally to form the government with the Virgin Islands
Party (VIP) without the knowledge of her fellow NDP colleagues.
“Her decision to form an alliance in the name of the party is not representative of the party,” Penn stated. “The party brass met last evening and we made a decision that we’re going to move forward and [take steps] to have her removed as a member of the organisation and the formal process will be done in terms of that removal process.”
Penn’s comments were echoed by other members of the opposition, including NDP’s Sixth District Representative, Myron Walwyn.
Meanwhile, Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) Chairman, Ronnie Skelton, expressed that the proverbial rug was pulled from beneath members of the political opposition when Smith decided to form a government with the VIP without consulting other elected officials outside of the VIP.
“We had negotiations between the three leaders — PU (Progressives United), NDP, and ourselves,” Skelton stated. “While we were negotiating, the rug was pulled from under us. So, that’s the only reason we are not in government.”
According to Penn, negotiations started in earnest between the PVIM, NDP and PU over a strategy on how to move forward. However, the three groups were blindsided amid those negotiations on the morning after the elections by Smith’s defection.
This then left the parties with no choice but to regroup as members of the political opposition.