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Breached ‘hope & trust’ were reasons for leaving NDP- Skelton-Cline

- said he had a role in VIP General Elections victory
BVI 780am ‘Honestly Speaking’ radio host Claude O. Skelton Cline in taking some credit for the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) 2019 elections win, says it was due to breached ‘hope and trust’ exhibited by the National Democratic Party (NDP) that caused him to ship gears and throw his support behind Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1). Photo: Facebook
Skelton-Cline made the utterances on the September 27, 2019, edition of ‘The Big Story’ on Japhix Television (JTV) with host Cathy O. Richards. Photo: Facebook
Skelton-Cline made the utterances on the September 27, 2019, edition of ‘The Big Story’ on Japhix Television (JTV) with host Cathy O. Richards. Photo: Facebook
According to commentator Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline, it was teamwork and the personality of Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), in photo, that helped secure victory for the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) at the February 25, 2019 General Elections. Photo: VINO/File
According to commentator Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline, it was teamwork and the personality of Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), in photo, that helped secure victory for the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) at the February 25, 2019 General Elections. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – ZBVI 780am ‘Honestly Speaking’ radio show host Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline in taking some credit for the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) 2019 elections win, said it was due to breached ‘hope and trust’ exhibited by the National Democratic Party (NDP) that caused him to shift gears and throw his support behind Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1).

Skelton-Cline made the utterances on the September 27, 2019, edition of ‘The Big Story’ on Japhix Television (JTV) with host Cathy O. Richards.

Shifting political gears 

“I was affiliated with the National Democratic Party then back in 2010/2011… clearly [I] was hopeful about what they can do as the majority of the country was and it was reflected in the polls… unfortunately, there was a breach of that hope, a breach of that trust and hence persons like myself had to make a different kind [of] decision,” he said.

Skelton-Cline was at the time answering questions on why the shift of support from the then Dr D. Orlando Smith-led ruling NDP, to the VIP Opposition led by now Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Fahie and his role in the new government.

The man of the cloth continued, “Of course therein lies my shift to the Virgin Islands Party and Andrew Fahie in particular… and supporting what I believe that he would have been able to bring… with a team in helping to rekindle the hope and the dreams and the aspirations of the people of the Virgin Islands and it's to that end in which I was committed to ensuring that they would be on the winning end of the stick,” he said.

Mr Skelton-Cline was a vocal NDP supporter but the relationship turned sour back in 2016 when his contract as Managing Director of the BVI Airports Authority (BVIPA) was renewed despite being promised by the then Minister for Communications and Works, Hon Mark H. Vanterpool.

Mr Skelton-Cline sued the government; however, the case was dismissed in the High Court in May 2019.

When questioned about whether he believes he played a key role in the VIP elections victory, Skelton-Cline replied in the affirmative. “I certainly had a role."

Mr Skelton-Cline; however, said it was more of a team effort on the road to victory at the February 25, 2019 Elections Day in the Virgin Islands (VI).

“It’s the team that makes the difference… the teamwork makes the dream work and the leader and the personality of Andrew Fahie is what helps to mobilise and make that happen.”

 VIP Gov't has done superbly - Skelton-Cline 

Further, he said the first six months of the new government has been excellent “for a twenty-year veteran surrounded by a new team.”

He underscored that unlike the NDP, the VIP team is receptive to listening and learning to work in the interest of the territory, rather than from a self-interest perspective.

Praising the VIP’s legislative agenda to take on issues such as cybercrime, consumer protection, financial services and residency regularisations, he noted that the party has done a 'superb job' in just a short period of time.

“It’s a journey that we are on, its not a one-time event. The people have voted for this Virgin Islands Party again in rekindling their hopes... for the government as we all should,” he noted.

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