A few people who gathered at the House of Assembly yesterday morning to witness Speaker of the House Julian Willock announce his resignation expressed shock and surprise that the opinionated Speaker decided to resign.
Willock announced his resignation yesterday morning before vacating the bench and making way for Deputy Speaker of the House Neville Smith to conduct the House of Assembly session. In his resignation speech, he told the public he was asked to resign by Acting Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley after the members of the House indicated they no longer had any confidence in him as the Speaker.
Local social commentator and political aspirant Cindy Rosan said she was surprised and a bit shocked at the event that transpired in the House, but said she was happy with the outcome as she believed Willock should have stepped aside from last year.
“We had the issue last year where the House of Assembly, through Mr Willock, attempted to halt the COI
and there were no grounds apparently and he was ordered to pay the fees. I am going to say the past Premier Honourable Andrew Fahie
- he moved a motion in the House, and I am going to say overstepped the court’s order and put a special committee to remove what the court ordered; which was disappointing for a lot of us,” Rosan said.
“We had a rally here to protest it. We haven’t gotten anything from it. But I think those are the things we were seeing unfolding in the House of Assembly and things persons were getting exhausted of. The overstepping of the rules, going above the rules. Operating above the laws of the land. To me, from then he should have resigned but today is good for me as well,” she added.
Rosan said she believed the decision for Willock’s resignation came out of meetings local officials have been having with Governor John Rankin
and UK Overseas Territories Minister Amanda Milling.
“We are still waiting to see what comes out of all those meetings. I am assuming a plan is unfolding in some kind of way or fashion and we will see where that goes with that, but I am assuming this is part of that bigger picture,” she added.
Meanwhile, local activist Amberley Crabbe, who has been a key figurehead in the recent protest, also expressed her surprise that Willock waivered on the request by the Acting Premier.
Nonetheless, she said she believes there is a larger plan that she’s waiting to see unfold.
“I think we are all in a bit of a shock with what transpired in the House of Assembly. I do believe out of respect for the process and the House of Assembly that we should allow things to take their course. We do not know what else is coming for today but we did hear our Acting Premier say they will be making the best decision for the territory so we would like to give an opportunity to see what transpires for the rest of the day. I will hold my comments until that time so I can make an honest opinion on what transpired,” she added.
Former public-sector worker Dawn Leonard was also present, and she expressed the same sentiments as the others.
“I am a bit shocked as to what has happened a bit now. You weren’t sure what had happened, but I do concur with Amberley that we must see the process through, and we will be back when the House is in session to see the process through,” Leonard said.
Willock insisted he was not asked to resign out of any wrongdoings but instead he was being used as a sacrificial lamb.