Governor denies conspiracy
(CNS): The Cayman Islands’ governor has said he is disappointed that relations between him and the premier have broken down and denied the conspiracy theories thrown around by McKeeva Bush. Duncan Taylor also revealed Friday in a televised interview that the UK minister had made it clear to Bush that the FCO was not trying to undermine the Cayman Islands but that it was merely concerned about good governance. The governor said the constitution did not require the premier to step down from office while under police investigation but added that it was a matter for the premier himself to decide.
Speaking to Cayman27 following his return from a conference in London, Taylor denied any conspiracy at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and said he was saddened by the state of affairs as there was no foundation in the premier’s suggestions.
Two weeks ago Bush issued a statement accusing the governor of “stealthily and insidiously” undermining his efforts to get the Cayman economy off the ground. The premier had also previously suggested that the three police probes into him regarding the Stan Thomas land deal, his role in the illegal importation of dynamite and an as yet undisclosed further financial irregularity were nothing more than a UK conspiracy to get him out of office and undermine Cayman.
Taylor said there was however no truth to the premier’s accusations.
“The minister for overseas territories, Henry Bellingham, has also told the premier that there is no truth whatsoever in those allegations,” he said. Taylor added he had also told the premier he had made no judgements about him regarding the investigations.
“There are no charges yet but I have also told him that if serious allegations are made I expect the commissioner of police to carry out that investigation properly and thoroughly,” he said. Taylor said neither he nor the FCO took a view about the need for the premier to step aside as it was not a constitutional requirement but a matter for him.
Taylor said he did not think the situation in Cayman was considered by the FCO to have reached an impasse or a level of seriousness to cause real concern but there were difficulties that had to be worked through.
The governor also denied that his office had tried to stop the progress of the Dr Devi Shetty health city project and said he was supportive of that potential development.
“I made it clear from the outset that this is a project with tremendous potential for the Cayman Islands,” he said. Taylor believed Bush’s allegations about him not supporting it came from the fact that Taylor had recommended that government carry out a proper independent impact assessment on the proposal before agreeing to go ahead. The governor said this was not a matter of bureaucratic harassment but good governance.
“Having good governance in place and following and practicing that good governance is actually an essential underpinning for a successful economy … In the long term, if you don’t have good governance in place then the economy is under threat,” Taylor said.
Speaking about the proposed cruise port development project in George Town, however, Taylor implied that the UK did have concerns about that particular project and to get the FCO’s support things would have to change.
Although Bush has said he intends to go ahead with the deal with the Chinese and that the port will not need to be re-tendered, Taylor made it clear that, as things were, this was not a deal which had the backing of the UK. “To get that support the project would need to be put back in line with minimum international best practice standards," he added.
See Cayman 27 video here
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