George Town Central MLA Kenneth Bryan has rejoined the ranks of the official opposition. Bryan left the opposition alliance nearly two years ago. The group’s leaders said his return is expected to strengthen and diversify the group.
The move follows last month’s resignation of North Side MLA Ezzard Miller as Leader of the Opposition. Miller has since pushed ahead with plans to establish a new political party, the Cayman Islands People’s Alliance, that he had initially announced in his New Year’s message.
In a news release, new Opposition Leader Arden McLean welcomed Bryan’s return.
“I am delighted to welcome Kenneth Bryan back to the group,” said McLean, the MLA for East End. “Kenneth has been a fierce advocate for his residents in George Town Central and is not afraid to speak his mind. The fresh and challenging perspective that he will bring to the team, is to be welcomed and I look forward to his contributions in helping to create an environment where all Caymanians can prosper, achieve their full potential, and be valued in our community.”
Bryan said he looked forward to working more closely with the group.
“I am pleased to be re-joining the official opposition,” he said. “It is reassuring to know that contributions from all will be valued. I have always enjoyed a good working relationship with many in the group and I look forward to working with them to find solutions for the many challenges facing Cayman and Caymanians.”
Bryan left the alliance of opposition leaders in August 2017. At the time, he said he had been “pushed out” of the group, though he remained an independent member of the opposition.
Bryan’s rift with the opposition group began after Speaker McKeeva Bush was arrested in July 2017 at a Florida casino. The Florida State Attorney’s Office later announced it would not file a charge of misdemeanour battery against Bush.
Bryan disagreed with an opposition statement on the arrest that called on government “to take the necessary action to restore dignity, honour and prestige to the position of the Speaker”. He said he did not want his name associated with the opposition statement and publicly opposed pressure on Bush to step down as speaker, saying it would have been hypocritical of him to presume Bush’s guilt before the matter appeared in court.
At the time, he said, “Unfortunately, the opposition is taking an approach to their style of governance, one I don’t agree with, that if I don’t toe the line, I shouldn’t be in the opposition. There doesn’t appear to be any room for any independent position.”