UDP will support Bush
(CNS): At least two Cabinet ministers have stated publicly that they will be supporting the premier despite the three police investigations surrounding him. Health Minister Mark Scotland has said that all of the UDP members of the Legislative Assembly will be voting against the opposition’s no confidence motion and will not be asking the premier to step aside. Scotland has said he wants to see a speedy closure to the investigations but he did not believe the premier needed to step down as there was no constitutional requirement for him to do so. He said the issue was made worse because of press coverage and the distortion of the facts. Police confirmed last week that McKeeva Bush is the subject of three RCIPS enquiries, two into financial irregularities and the third concerns an unlicensed shipment of dynamite.
“The continued carrying of this in press and by the opposition” was where the damage was occurring, Scotland said on Rooster’s morning show, Cayman Crosstalk, on Friday.
He suggested that coverage was causing people to distort the facts and they were calling in the talk show suggesting the premier had been charged when this was incorrect. “The best thing in this instance is a speedy closure.”
Scotland stated that if there was any damage being done to Cayman’s reputation it was because of the continued press coverage and the behaviour of the opposition – not, it seemed, the fact that the premier was the subject of three police probes.
“I believe the greatest damage is being done now by the continual coverage in the press in the negative way it is being done ... and by the opposition who are perpetuating the coverage in the press,” he said. Scotland believed that the real damage would only be if there was any outcome from the investigations but the damage now was because it was making the headlines every day. “With the stories being embellished,” he said, accusing the media of speculation and rumour.
Scotland asked why it was that the investigation in Arden McLean and the accusations made by the premier about his CUC bills not being paid was resolved quickly, although he acknowledged the point that McLean had cooperated fully with the Anti-corruption Commission by going to the police and releasing all the relevant documentation.
He said that the investigations had to be solved quickly as he feared that they would carry on up to the next election, but denied that the situation was impacting on government and the day to day functions of Cabinet.
Although Rolston Anglin said on Tuesday that Governor Duncan Taylor had not discussed issues with the Cabinet members, Scotland revealed that on Thursday Taylor had informed the members that the investigations were going on but he had given no details.
Speaking about the opposition motion, Scotland said, “The UDP will not ask the premier to step down. We are not going to vote in favour of any no confidence motion.”
Scotland said all of the members would stand in solidarity with the premier as they had done before and he did not believe that leaders had to step down because of accusations. Despite the very recent example of the speaker of the Australian parliament stepping aside until he had cleared his name, Scotland said there were other examples where leaders did not step aside. He said that the US president didn’t step down, nor did Charles Clifford step aside when he was minister and under enquiry.
The minister said it might be the desired outcome of the opposition for the premier to step down but that was not what the UDP members wanted; they wanted a speedy resolution to the investigations.
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