Premier refuses to stand down

McKeeva Bush Cumber groundbreaking main

In the wake of revelations that there are now three police investigations involving him, Premier McKeeva Bush claims he has done nothing illegal and insists he will not resign. 

Mr. Bush said he had received no formal notice of any police investigation into his affairs and accused the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office of timing the police announcement of the investigations as a political ploy to embarrass him during a visit by a UK minister to Cayman. 

According to a statement issued by the premier’s press secretary Sunday, Mr. Bush was “confident that whatever these ‘so called’ allegations may be, they are baseless and that he has done nothing illegal whatsoever’. 

The premier said he had “no intention of resigning”. 

Police revealed in a statement Saturday that they were carrying out three investigations involving the premier.  

The police statement read: “One involves allegations of financial irregularities in relation to a land deal. In addition, a further allegation of financial irregularities has been made, which is entirely separate from the first investigation. Finally, allegations have been made in relation to the involvement of the premier in the periphery of a recent incident where a quantity of explosives were imported to the Cayman Islands without the necessary permit.”  

News that there was more than one investigation into Mr. Bush broke on Friday when Governor Duncan Taylor said Mr. Bush was facing a second investigation, although he did not specify any details. He made the comments at a joint press briefing with visiting UK Overseas Territories Minister Henry Bellingham at Government House. 

The first investigation has been going on for more than two years, since the Financial Crime Unit began a probe in February 2010 into what Mr. Bush has called a “real estate bill” sent to Atlanta, Georgia-based developer Stanley Thomas.  

In his statement over the weekend, Mr. Bush said he and his government colleagues and supporters believed the announcement of these investigations and their timing “were designed to coincide with the visit of the UK minister and to cause maximum embarrassment to the premier and the people of the Cayman Islands”. 

“It is obvious to the premier that the announcement is carefully intended to detract from the positive relationship, which the premier has re-established with the United Kingdom government. The premier views these allegations and the timing thereof as politically motivated and calculated to detract from the many efforts that the government have been making to promote the success of the Cayman Islands and its economy; to stimulate the economy of the Cayman Islands and to create jobs for the many Caymanians whose businesses and personal lives and that of their children have been badly affected by the financial slowdown and the policies of the previous government,” the statement read.  

It continued: “The continual rumours of investigations without any formal notice to the premier, the possible involvement of certain civil servants in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are reminiscent of – and consistent with – the Operation Tempura fiasco and other attempts over the years, such as the Brian Gibbs and the David Ballantyne operation, (both of whom are now employed in the FCO) to destabilise and damage the government of the Cayman Islands.  

“It has not been forgotten that Operation Tempura unjustifiably ruined reputations of respected Caymanians and others and cost the people of the Cayman Islands in excess of 10 million dollars.” 

Mr. Bush said he was receiving legal advice from UK counsel. 

The opposition People’s Progressive Movement party and independent Member of the Legislative Assembly for North Side Ezzard Miller were scheduled to hold a press conference about the investigations Monday afternoon. 

Leader of the Opposition Alden McLaughlin over the weekend called for the premier to step down, saying Mr. Bush was doing “immense damage” to Cayman’s reputation of this country. “He can’t possibly perform his duties or the functions of his office under these circumstances,” he added. 

Asked if Mr. Bush had been formally notified of the investigations or had been questioned directly in relation to them, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Force responded with a statement saying it had nothing further to add to its earlier release. 

A full copy of the premier’s statement can be seen on page 10. 

McKeeva Bush Cumber groundbreaking

Premier McKeeva Bush refuses to resign his position. – Photo: File

1 COMMENT

  1. Arogance and incompetence has always been the downfall of man. For those that think they are above the law also claim they are innocent.

  2. The right thing for the Premier to do is to step aside as Premier until these investigations are concluded. By stepping aside he can devote his energy to resolving the investigations and he can greatly speed up the conclusion of these investigations by proactively approaching the police to answer all their questions just as Arden McLean did once Mr. McLean learned of the letter the Premier had sent regarding his electricity bills. By not being proactive in providing whatever information the police want Mr. Bush is likely dragging these investigations on to the detriment of both these Islands and himself.

  3. It is ridiculous to ask the Premier to step down when he has not been charged.. Investigations of someone do not equal guilt. The premier has been duly elected by the laws of the land and the laws of the land must run it’s due course with any investigation..

    The Opposition should get to work preparing to lead with possive points to the way ahead for Cayman, instead of trying to dethrone the current leader with negative points to unproven misdeeds.

    Who would want leadership by default anyway?..

  4. Arrogance begats arrogance and this man is certainly the king of disrespect. Does he not understand that ANY investigations by the Police are grounds enough for him to step aside until he is shown to be clean of any misdoings. Then again, his attitude has been confirmed so many times as being one of a Dictator, he would be arrogant enough to defy what is the right thing to do. Just thind back to the Tendering fiasco when he chose to go against laid down procedures and he did what he felt was best for the country, yeah sure. HE WILL DO WHAT HE WANTS TO DO UNTIL HIS WINGS ARE CLIPPED. Long live the king!. This should bring the BUSHITES to the forefront!

  5. So, in order to derail a government all one has to do is make accusations and start investigations against its Premier? Wow! So much for democracy!!

    Do you ever wonder why there seems to be more to gain from the speculations surrounding certain investigations than a swift conclusion with the evidence deciding the end result? There is an inconvenient truth about investigations; at some point they must ante up the evidence and face the light of an independent and feisty judiciary.

    There is none so blind, as (those) who will not see.

  6. I no longer know if I am more infuriated at this citizen’s assumption that the People are gullible or embarrassed to witness a mere civil servant fancy himself – because it is us that pay his salary, not the other way around. Kindly show some self-respect, Sir, and step down at least until the investigation concludes.

  7. Of course, the Premier should stand down! We can’t have someone like that with a cloud hanging over his head wheeling and dealing for the country–making far-reaching economic deals and the like. We could lose our shirt in the process! He must give up the reins and not pick them up again until he is cleared. Otherwise the country could suffer.

  8. Do people know the difference between an allegation, an investigation, and formal charges? Forget about having your day in court to defend yourself. The allegations have not even been made public, the police have not even approached him to say ‘this is what you are being accused of, or this is what we are investigating, can you provide any proof or have anything to say that would clear this up? What rubbish!

    Personally I feel that when it comes to politicians that are serving in a public office, no investigations should be made public until formal charges are made. Legally the newspaper cannot print your name in a news story unless you have been charged with a crime. Doing so is liable. It should be the same for politicians. NO POLITICAN should have to defend themselves to the public unless they are formally charged with something.

    Right now, what does the public know?

    1. He is being investigated for a real estate bill. This has been going on the more than 2 YEARS! Good grief, either press formal charges or drop the investigation.

    2. Another investigation with financial irregularities. No other details have been provided.

    3. Explosives being imported into Cayman without a permit, but Mr. Bush was NOT the importer. Hmmm, this sounds credible…NOT!

    Of course the power hungry opposition wants him to step down without any proof of wrong doing. We don’t even know what the allegations are! For all we know, this is some nonsense they planted just to discredit him. You want his seat, convince the people of this country you will earn it by positive ideas and increased economic development, not scandals and dirty politics! Alden, how would you advance this country if you were sitting in his seat? Give every unemployed Caymanian a government job and run up the country’s debt? Thats what your party did last time!

  9. If he refuses to step down and the information at hand to the public is accurate in any way, then let the Governor tell him to step ndown!

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