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E. Benito Wheatley Out! as VI Ambassador to London/EU

- Confusion surrounding what are the real reasons officer could not finalise/secure a new contract
Mr E. Benito Wheatley is leaving as the Director of the BVI London Office and Representative to the European Union as, according to reports, he was unable to secure a contract renewal despite his excellent work in the two posts. Photo: Facebook
The London Office represents the interests of the Government and people of the Virgin Islands in the UK and Europe. Photo: www.bvi.org.uk
The London Office represents the interests of the Government and people of the Virgin Islands in the UK and Europe. Photo: www.bvi.org.uk
Mr Julian Willock, a former Permanent Secretary, left, and Lorna G. Smith OBE, right, the Interim Director of BVI Finance over the past two years, had joined BVI London Office Director E. Benito Wheatley in battling for the Territory against the blistering negative international press over the financial services sector. Photo: VINO/File
Mr Julian Willock, a former Permanent Secretary, left, and Lorna G. Smith OBE, right, the Interim Director of BVI Finance over the past two years, had joined BVI London Office Director E. Benito Wheatley in battling for the Territory against the blistering negative international press over the financial services sector. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- It seems like the last few days were not good for diplomats around the world, including the Virgin Islands (VI).

The United States of America President Donald J. Trump (R) fired on March 13, 2018 his own top diplomat, the US Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson.

It seems like Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) has followed suite and ousted his own head of the BVI London Office and Representative to the European Union, Mr E. Benito Wheatley.

Mr Wheatley has served in the post for over seven years, and has been praised by local and international agencies for the work he has done on behalf of the British Overseas Territory of the VI.

First rated performance  

He gained acclaim when he professionally defended the VI after hurricanes Irma and Maria and explained to the international media (CNN, BBC) the real state on the ground after the two killer storms.

The young Ambassador also joined others like Julian Willock, a former Permanent Secretary, and Lorna G. Smith OBE, the Interim Director of BVI Finance over the past two years, in battling for the Territory against the blistering negative international press over the financial services sector.

Sources close to the National Democratic Party (NDP) told our newsroom that Mr Wheatley had challenges securing a new contract after his tenure ended in September 2017.

It is our understanding that after much discussion and negotiations, it was reported that the young diplomat, who served the role of an Ambassador, got frustrated and decided not to continue.

When contacted by our newsroom on the reports that he had resigned, first made public by commentator Claude O. Skelton-Cline on his ZBVI Radio Show Honestly Speaking on Tuesday March 13, 2018, Mr Wheatley used diplomatic language.

I am leaving but will stay until- Wheatley

He said “My contract as Director of the BVI London Office/UK & EU Representative expired in September 2017. I have stayed on to help see the territory through the difficult period that has followed since Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck the BVI.” 

When pressed about why he could not secure another contract, Mr Wheatley told us via Email: “The public can rest assured that I will continue to serve the territory faithfully until a successor is appointed in the weeks ahead.” 

When asked if a non-national will fill the post he said, “I am highly confident that a BVIslander will be identified for the position, who will continue the important diplomatic work of this office and lead its excellent staff.”

Meanwhile, Director of Communications in the Premier's Office Mrs Arliene T. Penn did not respond to our queries on why Mr Wheatley was not offered a contract renewal.

29 Responses to “E. Benito Wheatley Out! as VI Ambassador to London/EU”

  • one eye (14/03/2018, 15:44) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    More in the mota
  • ... (14/03/2018, 15:50) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Smh
  • hope not (14/03/2018, 16:10) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
    is it because his brother joined the VIP?
    • weed (14/03/2018, 18:41) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
      The fact is both political parties missed opportunities for getting a better deal for this young man
  • I HOPE (14/03/2018, 16:15) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    the helper Hands ain't got nothing to do with this. I would have let him finish the year and by September of this year let him go or just continue what he has started
  • mess (14/03/2018, 16:30) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    He did good while on post . he probably wants out of all this confusion and problems .
  • VIlander (14/03/2018, 16:32) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
    Another failure by Smith & his gov. I can tell you part of the reason is that Wheatley knew what to do & say when they didn't and don't for all the factors I usually mention. One God one aim one destiny means more to some than to others. The young lad will do well in his future endeavors
  • jack (14/03/2018, 16:54) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    Hope the de factor Lady Premier was not behind this!
  • Diplomat (14/03/2018, 18:05) Like (29) Dislike (2) Reply
    By all account, Benito performed in a stellar fashion as the VI representive to both the UK and EU. Virgin Islanders are constantly being accused of having an entitlement mentality and rise to positions of incompetence(Peter Principle). They are beat up regularly to get qualified for desired positions and perform well in those positions. Benito performed well and exceeded all expectations yet he was supposedly canned; was he deliberately frustrated enough to walk away? If top performance cannot earn one continued employment, the VI is in a royal mess. If performance was the issue, what were the performance issues, if any? Conversely, if performance was not issue, what were the other factors for the apparent non contract renewal? Is a crony waiting in the wings for this position? Would even top performing close family members be sacrificed for cronies? The VI seems to be in a worrying downward spiral. Is there a bottom to the the downward spiral? In time, perhaps, the real story behind Benito’s outting will be revealed. Who if anyone has Virgin Islanders back, should not government? Did tribal politics play a role in this outing?
  • dog (14/03/2018, 18:30) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
    please come back and run for legislature. You are experienced, classy and have good ideas.
  • Not2Sure (14/03/2018, 18:50) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
    The NDP has taken the country backwards for two decades so we need a chance now to move forward. Vote VIP all the way next election
  • stone cold (14/03/2018, 18:56) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
    Ben is not the only one! The majority of civil servants are being knock about. Where is the new DG his age? In hiding already! Sometimes I wonder if putting a young DG in place is serving our generation or they are merely self serving.
    • Well Well (14/03/2018, 20:25) Like (4) Dislike (6) Reply
      Can tell your love for country. Hate and more hate. What does the new DG have to do with this?
  • Bvi weak (14/03/2018, 19:02) Like (14) Dislike (2) Reply
    I salute you Mr Wheatley continue to do you're job, even to the end and not thinking only about yourself.
  • well done (14/03/2018, 20:48) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply

    Mr. Wheatley you did well. I know you can say your hands are clean. Not sure how many can say the same.

  • london bridge is falling down (14/03/2018, 21:48) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    He knew the powerful lady had her white friend for this work
  • Reply (15/03/2018, 00:35) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    Interesting. Met Mr. Wheatly not too long ago in London, and had no idea his tenure was in question. Nevertheless, being aware of the political climate at home, out of curiosity, I did query his future plans once his tenure was over, not knowing at the time it would be this soon. His answer was wise.

    IMO, the British Virgin Islands could not have found a better/more capable ambassador. He is a fine young man who represented the BVI well. I'm very proud of him, and I will not be surprised to hear that he moves on to bigger and better things. IMO, his future is quite bright.

    Wish you all the best Benito. Job well done.
  • good man (15/03/2018, 02:55) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    He will stay on
  • Halo (15/03/2018, 03:06) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    The BVI has lost one of its best in Benito. This is a loss of true talent, leadership, smarts and someone who genuinely cares for the BVI.
  • i from here (15/03/2018, 04:23) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    I just hope locals see when the chips are down no one is there for us.
  • wize up (15/03/2018, 06:28) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply
    the records of this territory will clearly bear witness that civil servants we called upon to switch duties for well over 40 years: try stop trying to make a mountain out of mold hold: we even had politicans booted out from one political part and ended up in other parties.....suddenly this some deal and thing to talk: if you don’t know you better some body: this been going on the our country for year and nothin new(try focus on rebuild the territory for our elderly people them suffering and stop playing politics for God Sake


    • yes (15/03/2018, 08:14) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      But this is this gentleman's area of expertise.... Why the need for a newbie at this crucial juncture!
    • Disinterested (15/03/2018, 10:06) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      @Wize Up, stop the nonsense. Stop the crap and closed your trap. You coming across as a moron with an axe to grind.
    • Disinterested (15/03/2018, 10:49) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
      @Wize Up, stop the nonsense. Stop the crap and shut your trap. Stop pissing on us and telling us it’s raining. You sound like you have a dull axe to grind.

      Personnel resources are the most critical of resources and should be treated with honor, dignity, respect and appreciation. Top performing employees should be recognized and rewarded. Seems like Benito is being undeservedly dissed as Guy Hill, former acting CIO, was. Conversely, under performing employees should be coached and counseled and if no improvement in performance results, ways parted. Benito you are a true North Star so keep your head high. You are talented with a bright future ahead. Stay focus, and keep your eyes on the prize. The Bible says a man receives no honour in his own country and the rejected stone becomes the head stone. Best of luck. Furthermore, we are keeping an eye out to see what unqualified crony will be in the position. One thing for sure he/she will have some big 22 shoes to fill.
    • @wize up (15/03/2018, 19:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Dig what your saying but don’t quite agree. Nonetheless opinions are like a$$407e$ - everyone got 1.... btw it’s ‘mole hill’; not “mold” as in fungus....FYI
  • Ning (15/03/2018, 09:51) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Too much political interference, not being given the tools to do the job, but doing the job above and beyond but still not being credited with the confidence for his expertise. BAM BVI STYLE.
  • ausar (15/03/2018, 12:34) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    My goodness, Premier

    You placed your own cousin on the chopping block!
    Is it because his Dad's talk show heaps coals of fire weekly at your administration? But events in the country are as such that requires constant scrutiny, talkshows notwithstanding.
    What a pistarkle!
  • boyblue (15/03/2018, 17:23) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    So when I get a job it' s supposed to be till death do us part? Well, you live and learn
    When a door close especially if you' re there for a long time and you are still young,man rejoice and say good. It is time . Long overdue . In this day and age people who remain on one job for so long it is laziness. Growth is vital. Expand use what you learn in the past years to expand revitalize and experience be entrepeneural and innovative.
    Mr Wheatley, Congratulations. You are going to soar because of your sensible and classy manner. Thanks for the ride.
  • Boo (17/03/2018, 21:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Let him go he saying it was his decision


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