Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has rebuffed claims that Ninth District Representative Vincent Wheatley was not fit to sit in Cabinet and has further dispelled the belief that the government had to seek permission from the United Kingdom to make Wheatley a minister after the April 24 elections.
The rumours that Wheatley wasn’t allowed to serve as a government minister reportedly surfaced in the aftermath of the Commission of Inquiry
, when Wheatley gave up his post as Minister of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration.
But at a recent press conference, a journalist asked Premier Wheatley whether he had to seek permission from the United Kingdom to make Wheatley the new Minister for Health & Social Development.
“No conversations were had with the UK about reinstating him as a Minister. We know there were lots of rumours that he couldn’t sit in Cabinet and we always knew that those rumours were false. The governor himself confirmed that he had no hand in selecting the Cabinet,” Premier Wheatley stated.
Good and experienced leader, D9 to benefit
He further hailed the Ninth District Representative as a good and experienced leader who is capable of handling his new portfolio. The Premier added that now that Wheatley is the Health Minister, the Ninth District will benefit greatly as their representative is now in a position to solve many of the healthcare challenges in their community.
“As it pertains to health, we thought he’d be a good person to take that portfolio forward. He is the Representative of the Ninth District and they have some very unique challenges in terms of healthcare. He’ll be very sensitive to those concerns and I think he’ll help the Health Services Authority. He’ll provide the leadership needed to ensure they serve all the people; ensure we have equity across our four main islands as it pertains to the delivery of healthcare services,” the Premier said.
Wheatley was first elected to the House of Assembly in 2019. He returned to the House for a second term after the April 24 elections after he captured 491 votes, clobbering his one-time party-mate Shereen Flax-Charles and two others.
He will serve as acting Premier and Minister of Finance for the period May 5 to13 while Premier Wheatley attends King Charles’ coronation in the United Kingdom.