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'I will not be deflected by political rhetoric'- Hickinbottom to Premier Fahie

- After Hon Fahie details irony of an allegedly corrupt UK Gov’t carrying out a corruption probe on VI
United Kingdom (UK) appointed Commissioner of the Virgin Islands Commission of Inquiry (CoI), Sir Gary R. Hickinbottom, left, has accused Virgin Islands Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), right, of trying to ‘deflect’ his work, after the Premier detailed the irony of an allegedly corrupt UK Government carrying out a corruption probe on the Virgin Islands (VI). Photo: VINO/GIS/File
Premier Fahie in his presentation said in the UK, there is documented evidence of poor governance practices and nepotism in the crown and pointed to a House of Commons Public Accounts Committee report on the subject. Photo: CoI/Youtube
Premier Fahie in his presentation said in the UK, there is documented evidence of poor governance practices and nepotism in the crown and pointed to a House of Commons Public Accounts Committee report on the subject. Photo: CoI/Youtube
WICKHAM'S CAY II, Tortola, VI– United Kingdom (UK) appointed Commissioner of the Virgin Islands Commission of Inquiry (CoI), Sir Gary R. Hickinbottom has accused Virgin Islands Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) of trying to ‘deflect’ his work, after the Premier detailed the irony of an allegedly corrupt UK Government carrying out a corruption probe on the Virgin Islands (VI).

Premier Fahie in a presentation before the Commission on October 12, 2021, had detailed vast evidence of corruption against the UK government surrounding its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and questioned whether that was the standard of Good Governance the VI should aspire to achieve.

Corruption evident in UK

Premier Fahie, in his presentation, said in the UK there is documented evidence of poor governance practices and nepotism and pointed to a House of Commons Public Accounts Committee Report entitled ‘COVID-19: Government procurement and supply of Personal. Protective Equipment. Forty-Second,” Forty-Second Report of Session 2019–21, published in February 2021, as evidence. 

He mentioned instances of the Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson Government's party supporters and financers receiving preferred access to billions in contracts from the UK Government. As part of his speech, the Premier also spoke about contracts awarded by the UK Government surrounding PPE’s for the COVID-19 pandemic and the irregularities that followed.

The Premier said that to award contracts, the UK government set up a ‘High Priority Lane’ for contracts to Government officials, Ministers’ Offices, MP’s and Members of the House of Lords with no justification why the priority lane was made.

As a result, he said organisations with expertise in the health and social care sector that had existing relationships with suppliers were side-tracked out of the priority lane as detailed in the report.  

The Premier also detailed cases of systemic racism and discrimination regarding access to PPE’s as quoted from the report, with Black, Asian and Minority ethnic staff more likely to report PPE shortages than their white counterparts.

UK taxpayers' $$ wasted

Hon Fahie also mentioned the documented fact that millions of dollars were wasted on PPE’s, as a number of poor quality items were procured.

Other topics in the Premier's presentation included nepotism and a failure to address procurement risks, where the UK Government awarded contracts without competition and made extensive use of emergency procurement regulation to quickly make direct awards of contracts.

At the end of his speech, Premier Fahie thanked the Commissioner for allowing him to put the information on the record. ”I needed to say them to form part of the record and also to crave your indulgence to be etched in the walls of your conscience, and your soul and your legal mind so that it will all be married when you are writing your report, knowing some of these information,” he said.

The Commissioner responded that he was misled with the length of the speech and that the information was irrelevant since how the United Kingdom has dealt with the COVID-19 crisis is not within his terms of reference.

“I will not be deflected by political rhetoric, and I will not be deflected by inappropriate comparisons with other places. I will stick to my brief, and I will only focus on meeting my terms of reference,” Mr Hickinbottom said.

30 Responses to “'I will not be deflected by political rhetoric'- Hickinbottom to Premier Fahie”

  • The uk with the coi (13/10/2021, 17:36) Like (17) Dislike (62) Reply
    They are not only racist but have double standards and full of hypocrisy
    • Aye... (13/10/2021, 19:31) Like (33) Dislike (13) Reply
      You real retarded if that's what your brain could strain to put together in a sentence.
      • @Aye... (14/10/2021, 10:55) Like (1) Dislike (7) Reply
        You racist set of sick, inhumane animals are much like your ancestors, you continue to be a total disgrace and embarrassment to your offspring throughout the generations. "How is that sentence?"
    • malone (13/10/2021, 20:23) Like (11) Dislike (22) Reply
      People of the bvi PLEASE listen, this COI rubbish is a distraction, yall have bigger problems, money gets wash here in the billions. These people need a proper take down of the world systems , so they have to attack this place. Stop listening to the rubbish of bvi and uk war, its not about that, dont be foolish read between the lines, they have ulterior motives.
    • Strupez (14/10/2021, 10:57) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      As if this government is any better
  • Why (13/10/2021, 17:44) Like (15) Dislike (34) Reply

    Why is the news publishing anything from this r***t bigot.

  • Native Senior Citizen (13/10/2021, 17:51) Like (58) Dislike (6) Reply
    Sir, Gary R. Hickinbottom will not flinched, and be deflected from his duties, he said. What make our Premeir even think that he can intimidate and influence the CoI to alter what he will recommend to those that appointed him to probe into misconducts of mismanagement of our finances by political leaders and others in the BVI political arena?
    Doesn't he realised the more he talk fight is the tighter the squeezing.
    Many of us, and some school children Know this is a fact. "Humility before exaltation." "Pride goes before the fall."
    • @Native Senior Citizen (14/10/2021, 12:46) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
      Sir, Gary R. Hickinbottom appears heartless, they picked the right evil, but there is a God who will show him who is truly in control!
  • Buckingham (13/10/2021, 17:52) Like (54) Dislike (0) Reply
    guys just relax the coi will not go anywhere until the fat lady sing
  • Futuro (13/10/2021, 18:01) Like (61) Dislike (47) Reply
    Well said Commissioner, all this long talk about UK and how they managed their COVID 19 is irrelevant to what you have to answer to Mr Premier.
    Stay to the point stop beating and ping the bush. The Commissioner is a smart man and i believe he is fair too.
  • Real challenge (13/10/2021, 18:56) Like (19) Dislike (2) Reply
    Did the premier also say to the Commissioner in his face ťthat he understood that although the UK spent lots of monies on Commission of Inquiries in the past they resulted in nothing? To which the Commissioner seemed to have had a brief moment of embarrassment. Was the premier begging the Commissioner to make sure UK get value for money on this go round? What a challenge comimg from the young government leader. My my!!!
    • dude (13/10/2021, 21:49) Like (3) Dislike (21) Reply
      He was illustrating to them that they came here on hear say and now had to switch the purpose of the COI because they found nothing they were told about. Now they criticize our system when theirs is more flawed b/c they have institutions that have been established for centuries while we are a young democracy.
  • Maverick (13/10/2021, 19:13) Like (18) Dislike (18) Reply
    Hickinbottom might be right, but I think he needs to be more diplomatic in his response and show wisdom. We are not in 1834, and are constantly spoken down to as if we have no right save to swallow whatever falls from the dog dish of Mother England. I honestly like the idea of holding our politicians feet to the fire, but I do not like the idea of our former opressors speaking to us disrespectfully. Yes you have a mandate, but let ME know, that the Englishmen has to be held at a higher standard and consideration must be given to the information highlighted. The pnly WORD, that cannot be altered are the words of our Creator God.not our enslavers.
  • Stil waiting for Andrew to Admit something. (13/10/2021, 19:27) Like (37) Dislike (2) Reply
    Have youu all heard Andrew accept, or admit anything... He defends everything..Like all is well and perfect and there are no problems, When the evidence clearly shows we have a lot of serious Issues to sort out....He need to realize the COI are getting their information from inside people who dont like how things running...
  • Sue said it (13/10/2021, 20:15) Like (36) Dislike (6) Reply
    Premier met his match with Hickinbottom. There is no way he is going to let Premier get the best of him.
  • answers too long and confusing (13/10/2021, 20:42) Like (29) Dislike (3) Reply
    Foy needs a time limit with his answers or simply say yes or no or no recollection
  • huh (13/10/2021, 22:56) Like (4) Dislike (13) Reply
    Some people are very basic. To me the premier hit his mark with this one and I think it sank to the very bottom of hickenbottoms heart.

    It calls into question what is this COI REALLY about if England is doing worse and cares not about their cronyism and dishonesty........ then isn’t this just a ploy and Andrew let the he the commissioner know that he is being used.
  • Politics (13/10/2021, 23:24) Like (4) Dislike (11) Reply
    The timing, how and why the COI was called makes it political. No one is fooled.
  • vi (14/10/2021, 05:39) Like (6) Dislike (11) Reply
    When are we going to chase these crazy baldheads out of town? What are we waiting for?
  • Jackson (14/10/2021, 09:38) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    It shows the hypocrisy of the UK Government. What is good for the goose surely must be good for the gander. Regardless on one's views about governance in the BVI, we certainly should not turn a blind eye about the hypocrisy in the UK Government. It is real and it should be pointed out. Nothing is wrong with calling it as it is.
  • The TRUTH (14/10/2021, 10:42) Like (3) Dislike (9) Reply
    It's time for this farce to be over. We have far more pressing issues. Climate, economy, covid. Stop wasting people's time.
  • TORTOLIAN (14/10/2021, 10:49) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
    I was born in Cottage Hospital before it renamed Peebles so you know I am old and I am not an expatriate, so no race card please, I am a born indigenous Tortolian. The problem with our people is that we are complacent, we don't want to Learn, we know everything and the service is appalling, it is very rare to see anyone here taking responsibility, no accountability at all, blame this and that and everyone feel entitled. Let the COI do its work and get out of here, the apparent delay tactics are just making all of us look like a bunch of fools. I watched all the COI hearings and I am ashamed of how we are portrayed, we who work so hard for what we have are being painted with a nasty brush. The Commissioner is doing his job and to tell the truth he has patience like Job because if it was me hmmm. Start teaching and training our children qualities that will see them through the work place.
    • @Tortolian (14/10/2021, 13:33) Like (0) Dislike (4) Reply
      You have a colonial brainwashed mindset much like many of our enslaved ancestors 'who did not know better'. It's time to free your mind from this bondage of old. Black Lives Matter, is today's indigenous VI birth call, and if you are not yet ready for mental freedom at your age, then you are truly a puppet fit for the slave master children's 21st Century Romp-o-Rama on this world. This is a new era of freedom 'of a different kind', and if we sink or fall let it be by our Own hands, not the ones of our enemies. For we know that our God 'Jesus' is the Master of All and He has never failed us yet!
  • concerned citizen (14/10/2021, 12:08) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    @ Tortolian. Your comment is the most appropriate and educational. Most will criticize it but our youngsters do not like when older persons speak, but they need to be told. They surely need advice.
  • -@ D UK WITH COI (14/10/2021, 13:09) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Looks like AYE touched your WIG , O you poor TING
    • Comment (14/10/2021, 13:59) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      Just a matter of time when we chase you Crazy 'Baldheads' out of town, just like what we did to your sick ancestors... and you can have my WIG to cover your crazy 'baldhead' from the northern cold. Because Independence Will Come!
  • dua (14/10/2021, 14:01) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    @TORTOLIAN, I am also an indigenous Tortolian, I agree with just about everything you said in your post, one thing I don’t agree with is you said: I am ashamed of how we are portrayed, we the people are not the ones that are doing the damage to the BVI, it’s our government.
  • Dancing with the Stars (14/10/2021, 17:40) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    This inquiry is helping up. The Premier stood his ground in front of the giant. Massa days are over. Whether he spoke with plain words Britain has an agenda for all of us.


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