According to reports coming out of Anguilla, Chief Minister Hughes has told the public that he was recently asked to resign by the island’s appointed governor. Hughes said that, “I was emphatically asked by the island’s British governor to resign, following a letter I gave to the governor during a meeting of the Executive Council on Thursday.”
In addition to asking Hughes to resign, the governor is also being accused of demanding that the Chief Minister dismiss the Minister of Communication and Works, Mr. Evan Gumbs and the Minister of Labour & Home Affairs, Mr. Walcott Richardson.
Hughes said that the governor also asked him to call elections but he, (Hughes), told him no.
However, Anguilla’s constitution, under Section 24 (2), states that, “The Chief Minister, in consultation with the governor has the power to re-shuffle ministerial portfolios.”
In response to the charges, the governor has stated that, “I should make it clear that I am not seeking the removal of the Chief Minister. I have worked amicably with him for seven months and have every intention of continuing to do so.”
The governor admitted however that he did meet with the Chief Minister on Thursday morning, (23rd September), about a possible ministerial re-shuffle. He said that such meetings are normally confidential, but the Chief Minister apparently discussed the issue in public, so he was now seeking to set the record straight.
He also agreed that the Chief Minister informed him of the decision to amend the portfolios of the Deputy Chief Minister, Edison Baird, and that he cautioned the Chief Minister that he should take into consideration the concerns of the other ministers.
The Chief Minister is set to discuss the matter further during a planned public meeting on Saturday. The Chief Minister came to power in February after his party won a majority of seats in the island’s general elections.
The fallout between the two top officials in Anguilla comes at a time when the politicians and the governor in the Turks & Caicos Islands are at war, over the unilateral decision of the British government to cancel elections that were scheduled for July next year.