Three Caymanians short-listed for London Office top job

Three local applicants are in the running to become the new head of the Cayman Islands London Office, Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose told the Legislative Assembly’s Finance Committee last week.

Mr. Rose said the latest recruitment exercise was the second attempt to hire someone for the position, following the departure of U.K. Lord Blencathra, formerly known as David MacLean, from the post in March 2014.

The first recruitment process resulted in the selection of a successful applicant who declined the government’s offer of employment for “personal reasons,” the Cabinet secretary said.

During the second attempt at recruitment, management responsibility for the office was transferred from the Ministry of Home Affairs to the Cabinet Secretary. Mr. Rose said interviews for the three short-listed applicants should occur later this month.

“All three finalists are Caymanians,” Mr. Rose said.

Mr. Rose did not state who was in the running for the job.

The London office position, which has served in recent years as a key lobbying position for the Cayman Islands government, has been unfilled on a permanent basis since Lord Blencathra’s contract was not renewed last spring.

The U.K. peer’s raucous tenure in the office included a period where he was left idle for nearly two months in 2013 after statements made by subordinates in the office indicating he was “no longer in charge,” leaving the highly paid lobbyist unable to work with U.K. government officials or the British foreign office.

That claim was one of several made by Lord Blencathra in a complaint filed with the Cayman Islands government regarding the “rude behavior” of some of his staff members in the London office. The House of Lords representative served as Cayman’s London office director and the territory’s chief lobbyist in Europe between late 2011 and March 2014, when his contract with the Cayman government ended.

“The London office is totally dysfunctional and it will have to be sorted out one way or another before we have a real catastrophe on our hands,” Lord Blencathra wrote in a June 2013 email to Cayman Islands government chief officer Dax Basdeo and Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose. “If the Hon. Premier wants to cancel my contract, then so be it. But if not, then two people in the office must start behaving professionally.”

It is not known if any personnel in the London office have been changed or reassigned since Lord Blencathra left.