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Speaker reprimands insubordinate Opposition Leader

- Hon Willock threatens ‘Action’ following row between Hon Marlon A. Penn & Premier
In what could be described as a short heated exchange between House Speaker, Hon Julian Willock and Opposition Leader, Marlon A. Penn (R8), the Speaker moved to reprimanded the Opposition Leader and briefly shutting down the House over some perceived insubordination in the Virgin Islands (VI) House of Assembly (HoA). Photo: VINO
The whole disagreement started when the Leader of the Opposition posited a question to the Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) over the proposed changes to the Immigration and Passport Act. Photo: VINO
The whole disagreement started when the Leader of the Opposition posited a question to the Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) over the proposed changes to the Immigration and Passport Act. Photo: VINO
Premier Andrew A. Fahie (R1) said that Hon Vincent O. Wheatley’s absence on the Bill was not only because of leave and that he Fahie, had indicated previously that the initiative was being led by the Premier. Photo: VINO/File
Premier Andrew A. Fahie (R1) said that Hon Vincent O. Wheatley’s absence on the Bill was not only because of leave and that he Fahie, had indicated previously that the initiative was being led by the Premier. Photo: VINO/File
Over the past weeks, the Opposition Members of the VI HoA have been lobbying against and Premier Fahie led, ‘Clear path to regularisation: Residency and Belonger Status Programme,’ seeking to regularise undocumented immigrants by telling the public that government never tried to consult nor consulted with the opposition before moving forward with the initiative. Photo: Facebook/File
Over the past weeks, the Opposition Members of the VI HoA have been lobbying against and Premier Fahie led, ‘Clear path to regularisation: Residency and Belonger Status Programme,’ seeking to regularise undocumented immigrants by telling the public that government never tried to consult nor consulted with the opposition before moving forward with the initiative. Photo: Facebook/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – In what could be described as a short heated exchange between House Speaker, Hon Julian Willock and Opposition Leader, Marlon A. Penn (R8), the Speaker moved to reprimanded the Opposition Leader and briefly shutting down the House over some perceived insubordination in the Virgin Islands (VI) House of Assembly (HoA).

At yesterday’s June 3, 2019, Fourth Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth HoA, Speaker Willock was stern in his words and actions which led to the sudden recession of the House during the morning session of the House.

Who is leading Immigration initiative? - Hon Penn

The whole disagreement started when the Leader of the Opposition posited a question to the Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) over the proposed changes to the Immigration and Passport Act.

“Mister Speaker, could the Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration please tell this Honourable House, if he will convene a committee of the whole House for a thorough discussion for the proposed changes to the Immigration and Passport Act which had its first reading in this Honourable House on the 17th May 2019, before it is brought back for its 2nd and 3rd readings?” Hon Penn questioned.

Hon Wheatley then pointed out that immigration reform is being led by the Premier, and that the committee will be convened during the same Fourth Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House.

The opposition then sought to query why the Premier was leading the Bill and pointed out that previously on May 17, 2019, the House was told the Premier was moving the Bill, “Because you [Hon Wheatley] was away on leave… so are you in charge or you’re not in charge?” Hon Penn further questioned. 

Following that, Premier Fahie stepped in, noting that Hon Wheatley’s absence on the Bill was not only because of leave and that he Fahie, had indicated previously that the initiative was being led by the Premier.

“I told them this initiative was being led by the Premier,” Hon Fahie told the House.

Hon Penn further said that previously, the House was told that the Premier was leading the initiative because the Immigration Minister was away, “We will get the records, the house have records,” he said.

Opposition cancelled meetings – Premier Fahie

Further, according to the Premier, “and while I’m on my feet, Mr Speaker… we give the opposition two opportunities to have meetings to come and discuss it, and the meeting were cancelled, so what next move do we do?” 

According to Hon Penn in response, “And the point about the meeting, and we made it clear to the Premier… two members of the opposition were unable to make the first meeting, It would not be fair for us to have a meeting not inclusive of all the members,” he said.

“So it’s not that we are not trying to meet, this is an issue [Immigration] that I believe that the Premier… could have brought to us and have a discussion before.”

Premier Fahie in lashing back, said the Opposition was written twice on May 24, 2019, and on May 31, 2019, “The Leader of the Opposition asked for a meeting on Monday the 27th of May at 2 pm for all Opposition Members, I granted the meeting and informed all my members,” he said.

“Monday morning we found out after a while that one or two members of the opposition could not make it and the meeting was cancelled,” he said.

The Leader of Government Business then said the second meeting was requested by the Opposition with the Premier alone, “I said to him, that I have to meet with my members with the Opposition, we won’t be meeting alone. All of us will discuss it.”

“So the next meeting was scheduled for Friday… the Leader of the Opposition said that he cannot meet at 2 pm, It has to be 8:30 the morning.”

The Premier said he further communicated that the meeting can be had, 2 pm, latest 3 pm on the same Friday.

“Kick me out today” – Hon Penn

“I’ve been more than accommodating to the Opposition to have a meeting, both of them were cancelled by request of the Leader of the Opposition,” Premier Fahie told the House.

The Opposition Leader then sought to lash back in a rowdy manner by saying he will provide proof via letters to dispute the Premier’s claims, to which the Speaker silenced him, “Leader of the opposition, I am to be heard in silence,” Hon Willock said firmly and stern.

“Mister Speaker, I am not a little kid… you are not talking to a child,” the Opposition Leader said. 

“You going have to kick me out today, you are not speaking to a child,” Hon Penn further implored.

Clad in his heavy black and gold robe with the traditional colonial style wig, Speaker Willock stood assertively in silence and immediately moved the House to a recession. 

After the break, Hon Willock said, “Leader of the Opposition I am going to give you a warning. Any further infraction will result in action being taken by the Speaker against you.”

Over the past weeks, the Opposition Members of the VI HoA have been lobbying against and Premier Fahie led, ‘Clear path to regularisation: Residency and Belonger Status Programme,’ seeking to regularise undocumented immigrants by telling the public that government never tried to consult nor consulted with them before moving forward with the initiative.  

11 Responses to “Speaker reprimands insubordinate Opposition Leader”

  • Hyndman (04/06/2019, 10:34) Like (30) Dislike (38) Reply
    Hon. Marlon Penn is just a disgruntled and mischievous fellow. Good job mr. Hon. Speaker.
  • BVI Rise (04/06/2019, 10:35) Like (38) Dislike (42) Reply
    The Speaker has acted in the authority that comes with the office, and the leader of the opposition has served in the HOA for 8 years, so by now he should know the rules of the house. The speaker did not disrespect Hon. Penn, Hon. Penn disrespected himself , the speaker , the students who were present and the people of the BVI. He knows better, but refuses to do better. Many persons would blame the speaker because they do not like him, but the man is following the rules of the house that were given to him. The former speaker also exercised her authority, especially when it pleased the party that voted her in. Hon. Penn was used to doing whatever in the HOA when they were in power but now that he is sitting on the other side of the fence, he expects to do the same. He needs to focus on serving the people who voted him in, and stop trying to get to the speaker and allowing persons who are not in the HOA to constantly dictate to him, ...interesting that he referred to himself as not being a little kid...because that is how he has been acting since he became the leader of the opposition. His party members who were unsuccessful are still dictating to him on what to say or do. I know this man, and I am saddened to see how he is allowing others to dictate his actions because he can do great work as the leader of the opposition but he is not allowing himself to think and lead without his fallen party members guiding him. Hon. Penn, you are wrong for speaking when the speaker or any other member in the HOA is speaking, and you know that very well. If the speaker had picked on you wrongly, I would be one of those who say so...but this infraction is on you my friend. We in the district need you to represent us please, stop wasting your time on issues and the hidden agenda of the fallen members of the party.
  • Hmmmm (04/06/2019, 10:37) Like (48) Dislike (21) Reply
    Great discussion between the two leaders. I love it. The speaker needed to keep to hell out... Let the constructive discussion continue.... This Speaker..Hmmm
    • Just a half breath who’s perents are from the Islands (04/06/2019, 18:56) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      unable to be avoided, evaded, or escaped; certain; necessary: an inevitable conclusion.
      sure to occur, happen, or come; unalterable: The inevitable end of human life what happens when you had a speaker like Ingrid Moses. How soon we forget. This standing order is called “Karma”
  • ABC (04/06/2019, 10:37) Like (32) Dislike (19) Reply
    Malone is a disgrace he will never be premier
  • wize up (04/06/2019, 11:58) Like (24) Dislike (14) Reply
    there is a time and place for most things and the speaker of the house did well: under the last speaker of the house gave Hon Fraser hell during some sittings and very man mouth shut: how quick Hon Penn forgets...fraser needs to separate himself from that former NDP set of conniving opposition
  • spider (04/06/2019, 12:39) Like (22) Dislike (2) Reply
    I do agree that the Speaker was following protocol.. but Can somebody please tell me why the speaker have to wear that awful looking wig on his head?..Hon. Willock please remove that wig..it’s not flattering..
    • wize up (04/06/2019, 14:58) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
      @ spider: the comrade is old school and nostalgic : Keith flax also wore that thing while he was speaker of the house.....maybe the head gear helps him to think
      • Tradition (04/06/2019, 22:08) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        The wearing of the wig and gown both anonymises and dignifies the office of the speaker. In a small commmunitty, it’s a good idea to use these formalities to denote that the speaker represents an office of responsibility and dignity which goes beyond the identity of the particular individual who happens to occupy the office at any time.
  • legal team (05/06/2019, 07:58) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply

    Every voter who voted at the last general election should know how it feels to hear that the party you voted for has lost.

    that pain of losing is felt stronger into the emotions of the candidates themselves, to lose power, privileges, opportunities and everything which goes with a political position.

    When I looked at the clip of video with the honourable Penn,I saw a child-face-expression of hurt on his face.

    He is the one who used the word kid and child to describe himself, by saying, "I am not a child".

    The speaker did not speak like a grown person addressing a child.The speaker spoke as the speaker of the HOA addressing the Leader of the opposition.

    Therefore,Hon, Penn has described himself as a under-age "CHILD".

    So,from today on-wards, I will call Hon, Penn, a child because he called the word child.

    He could have said, "look mr speaker,I am a big man with big-balls, and big-k@#k, but instead,he said "I am not a child.

  • pat (05/06/2019, 08:49) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply
    Mr Willock did well I am proud of my Speaker tell marlon go to hell with his school boy behavior


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