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Willock resigns from PDM puts 4 In opposition

MCAP calls for new polls

Hon. Gregory Willock

On Tuesday this week, following his rant last week during which he came out in support of the Hon. Dr. Ingrid Buffonge, Hon. Gregory Willock resigned all but his legislative seat in the Legislative Assembly.

Willock resigned his appointment as Parliamentary Secretary, and as a member of the questionable existence of the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), sending a letter to the Hon. Premier Donaldson Romeo, copied to His Excellency the Governor Andrew Pierce and the Hon. speaker of the Legislative Assembly Shirley Osborne. (see letter here).

This new development comes after Dr. Buffonge, having returned from her one-year master’s degree studies in the UK as she described, said the island’s healthcare was in bad condition, citing the sudden departure of three medical doctors among other issues. But she had her own personal complaints as she found she had to wait for a contract to be concluded as was required, so she can work as a doctor.

Willock had followed this, throwing his already disgruntled position against the Minister, saying he supported Dr. Buffonge’s claims standing with Dr. Buffonge and supported her call for the premier to fire Minister Ryan. He said he was willing to cross the floor and sit as an independent member of parliament if this was not done.

The premier followed Buffonge’s statement by saying he stood behind his health minister, invoking an accusation from her when he quoted something out of scripture when he said: “He who must destroy others to succeed must know that destruction awaits him at the gate of his success.  In other words, be careful not to dig a hole for yourself.” Sounded much like, “What Goes Around Comes Around”. She said that it was a serious threat, and that the premier was attempting to suppress criticism.

In the meantime, Minister Ryan spent a long time on radio responding to Dr. Buffonge’s claims. She was adamant about not stepping down from her Ministry, and explained in some detail the state of the Health Ministry.

Willock then said he stood with Dr Buffonge and supported her call for the premier to fire Minister Ryan. He said he was willing to cross the floor and sit as an independent member of parliament if this was not done.

There has been no comment from the other members of the (PDM) government members, Minister Lewis, and deposed Minister Hogan, who has been off island, while news of a ‘motion of no-confidence’ in the government has reportedly been filed with the speaker.

There is a long and old background to the Gregory ‘Saga’ Willock sojourn in or with the Government. Speculations are that his actions are all part of a strategy for immediate changes in government or preparation for new parties to contest the due elections from September next year.

In September 2015 Willock had hit the ZJB air waves to clarify rumours that he had left the PDM party, which had already given indication that there was serious disunity among the government members.

Willock had explained he had been in discussion with the Hon. Premier Donaldson Romeo about stepping down from the position as parliamentary secretary to avoid some of the conflicts which were arising in the party over his desire to push for the ratification of a new legislators conditions of pay.

He claimed the current position is outdated and should have been adapted to suit the current requirements as laid out in the Montserrat Constitution Order of 2010; that the legislators conditions of pay in use does not deal adequately with issues of gratuity, pensions, vacation for legislators, he added.

Willock explained that due to some party members not in agreement with his push to have this document updated and approved to the benefit of all legislators, he said he would prefer to remain only as a member of Parliament. Currently, he supports the sectors of culture, youth and supports in his role as parliamentary secretary. A role he said he is not compensated for over and above what is the standard payment for members of Parliament.

“I’m not here all about Gregory as I have been working for over a year as Parliamentary Secretary without additional pay,” he said. “I want to work for the people.”

Premier Romeo had little to say then, regarding Willock’s position the Premier: “Please also do not think that there is anything wrong with the Honorable Gregory Willock proposing to step back from the Parliamentary Secretary post and remain a part of the PDM team,” he said, giving his commitment regarding his government’s position repeating his earlier comments regarding their forward movement as it relates to his government’s performance for the previous year.

(see: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/confusion-sets-in-the-pdm-administration-at-the-turn-of-its-second-year/)

Willock’s position then had come just after the announcement of Dr. Buffonge’s resignation from the party.

We reported it was a surprise move, though from the beginning “she had shown some restlessness in her relationship with the PDM.” She resigned a week after she had spoken on ZJB radio at length recapping her role in the first year of the PDM in office. She had said that people were somewhat impatient, but she declared at the end of her recap, having called for unity and togetherness: “…people can look forward to a stronger more assertive PDM in the future with better decision making and faster progress with some restructuring…, I am asking the public don’t give on the PDM just yet. This is still a strong red machine, there is a lot of positive to come in the near future.”

Her position this time in 2018 had been little different, but Willock thought it prudent, having had more than he can take working with or under Minister Ryan.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

MCAP calls for new polls

Hon. Gregory Willock

On Tuesday this week, following his rant last week during which he came out in support of the Hon. Dr. Ingrid Buffonge, Hon. Gregory Willock resigned all but his legislative seat in the Legislative Assembly.

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Willock resigned his appointment as Parliamentary Secretary, and as a member of the questionable existence of the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), sending a letter to the Hon. Premier Donaldson Romeo, copied to His Excellency the Governor Andrew Pierce and the Hon. speaker of the Legislative Assembly Shirley Osborne. (see letter here).

This new development comes after Dr. Buffonge, having returned from her one-year master’s degree studies in the UK as she described, said the island’s healthcare was in bad condition, citing the sudden departure of three medical doctors among other issues. But she had her own personal complaints as she found she had to wait for a contract to be concluded as was required, so she can work as a doctor.

Willock had followed this, throwing his already disgruntled position against the Minister, saying he supported Dr. Buffonge’s claims standing with Dr. Buffonge and supported her call for the premier to fire Minister Ryan. He said he was willing to cross the floor and sit as an independent member of parliament if this was not done.

The premier followed Buffonge’s statement by saying he stood behind his health minister, invoking an accusation from her when he quoted something out of scripture when he said: “He who must destroy others to succeed must know that destruction awaits him at the gate of his success.  In other words, be careful not to dig a hole for yourself.” Sounded much like, “What Goes Around Comes Around”. She said that it was a serious threat, and that the premier was attempting to suppress criticism.

In the meantime, Minister Ryan spent a long time on radio responding to Dr. Buffonge’s claims. She was adamant about not stepping down from her Ministry, and explained in some detail the state of the Health Ministry.

Willock then said he stood with Dr Buffonge and supported her call for the premier to fire Minister Ryan. He said he was willing to cross the floor and sit as an independent member of parliament if this was not done.

There has been no comment from the other members of the (PDM) government members, Minister Lewis, and deposed Minister Hogan, who has been off island, while news of a ‘motion of no-confidence’ in the government has reportedly been filed with the speaker.

There is a long and old background to the Gregory ‘Saga’ Willock sojourn in or with the Government. Speculations are that his actions are all part of a strategy for immediate changes in government or preparation for new parties to contest the due elections from September next year.

In September 2015 Willock had hit the ZJB air waves to clarify rumours that he had left the PDM party, which had already given indication that there was serious disunity among the government members.

Willock had explained he had been in discussion with the Hon. Premier Donaldson Romeo about stepping down from the position as parliamentary secretary to avoid some of the conflicts which were arising in the party over his desire to push for the ratification of a new legislators conditions of pay.

He claimed the current position is outdated and should have been adapted to suit the current requirements as laid out in the Montserrat Constitution Order of 2010; that the legislators conditions of pay in use does not deal adequately with issues of gratuity, pensions, vacation for legislators, he added.

Willock explained that due to some party members not in agreement with his push to have this document updated and approved to the benefit of all legislators, he said he would prefer to remain only as a member of Parliament. Currently, he supports the sectors of culture, youth and supports in his role as parliamentary secretary. A role he said he is not compensated for over and above what is the standard payment for members of Parliament.

“I’m not here all about Gregory as I have been working for over a year as Parliamentary Secretary without additional pay,” he said. “I want to work for the people.”

Premier Romeo had little to say then, regarding Willock’s position the Premier: “Please also do not think that there is anything wrong with the Honorable Gregory Willock proposing to step back from the Parliamentary Secretary post and remain a part of the PDM team,” he said, giving his commitment regarding his government’s position repeating his earlier comments regarding their forward movement as it relates to his government’s performance for the previous year.

(see: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/confusion-sets-in-the-pdm-administration-at-the-turn-of-its-second-year/)

Willock’s position then had come just after the announcement of Dr. Buffonge’s resignation from the party.

We reported it was a surprise move, though from the beginning “she had shown some restlessness in her relationship with the PDM.” She resigned a week after she had spoken on ZJB radio at length recapping her role in the first year of the PDM in office. She had said that people were somewhat impatient, but she declared at the end of her recap, having called for unity and togetherness: “…people can look forward to a stronger more assertive PDM in the future with better decision making and faster progress with some restructuring…, I am asking the public don’t give on the PDM just yet. This is still a strong red machine, there is a lot of positive to come in the near future.”

Her position this time in 2018 had been little different, but Willock thought it prudent, having had more than he can take working with or under Minister Ryan.