Beautiful Virgin Islands

Thursday, Feb 02, 2023

Premier ‘should not’ go to UK without public previewing CoI Report- Skelton-Cline

Premier ‘should not’ go to UK without public previewing CoI Report- Skelton-Cline

United Kingdom (UK) appointed Governor John J. Rankin, CMG is facing more pressure to make public the Virgin Islands (VI) Commission of Inquiry (CoI) report ahead of any UK diplomatic meeting with VI's elected leaders.

The calls come following the release of a publication timeline for the Report, where the Governor dictates the timeline of events surrounding the Report before the public can see its contents.

Governor release timeline


The Governor’s Office, in its timeline published April 21, 2022, said the report will first be shared with the Premier and political party leaders in the House of Assembly (HoA), ahead of a meeting with those same parties and UK Ministers.

The Premier and political party leaders will then discuss the report with UK Ministers and the Governor in the UK, before the report is published.

However, according to ZBVI 780 AM radio talk show host, Claude O. Skelton-Cline, the publication timeline is not ideal given the people of the VI will be excluded from the process.

“We cannot allow our Premier and Premier should not… go to the UK for any discussion unless the people of this country is first preview to the content of that report,” he said on the Honestly Speaking radio show on Tuesday, April 19, 2022.

Public should see report before VI delegation heads to UK- Skelton-Cline


“The Premier must not, should not, and cannot agree to anything with the UK without the purview, without the import of the people of this country,” Skelton-Cline added.

Ever since the final CoI Report was handed over to Governor Rankin on April 5, 2022, calls have been mounting for the Report to be made public just as the CoI was conducted in public.

Skelton-Cline said his calls for the Premier to reject the Governor’s timeline is one that comes in his capacity as a private citizen of the VI.

“I do know these men personally, so I suspect that they won’t [agree to timeline] in the first place, but I need to say it for us to hear,” he added.

Skelton-Cline said his calls for the Premier Andrew A. Fahie to reject the Governor’s timeline is one that comes in his capacity as a private citizen of the VI.


Opposition calls for public report


Meanwhile, Opposition Leader in the Virgin Islands (VI) House of Assembly (HoA) Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8), during a press conference on April 12, 2022, noted that he had called for the report to be made public.

“I believe the people need to see that report, it needs to be forthcoming to the people of this territory and as well as the leaders of this country,” he said.

Skelton-Cline added, “whatever this is, we must do it together,” he said in reiterating calls for the public to be made preview to the contents of the CoI report before any discussion is made with the UK.

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