Premier welcomes new OT minister

Premier Alden McLaughlin has welcomed newly appointed UK Overseas Territories Minister Baroness Elizabeth Sugg.

Sugg was named as the new Overseas Territories and Sustainable Development Minister Monday, following UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Cabinet reshuffle.

She takes over from Lord Tariq Ahmad, whose responsibilities have now been shifted to Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, and the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict.

McLaughlin, in a brief comment to the Cayman Compass Tuesday on the new appointments, said, “I look forward to working with Baroness Sugg as we continue our strong partnership with the United Kingdom.”

He said both he and the government welcome Sugg as the new minister with responsibility for the Overseas Territories.

“I look forward to meeting her,” he added.

Premier Alden McLaughlin and former Overseas Territories Minister Lord Tariq Ahmad. McLaughlin thanked Ahmad for his ‘approach when working with Cayman and all the Territories over the last few years’. – Photo: Premier Alden McLaughlin Twitter page

The premier also wished Ahmad well in his new role and thanked him for “his dedication to the Overseas Territories, and particularly to the Cayman Islands”.

Ahmad was instrumental in government’s push for constitutional changes to limit the UK’s ability to legislate for the Cayman Islands without consultation.

In December, local legislators voted unanimously for those constitutional changes.

The UK agreed to make changes to the Constitution, to include a mandatory requirement for consultation on any proposed legislation or Orders in Council that will directly impact the Cayman Islands, and the removal of key reserve powers from the governor to write legislation, disallow legislation and write standing orders for the Legislative Assembly.

The UK agreed to the addition of an eighth minister, but that was deferred until the next term, i.e., after the 2021 general election. Those changes are progressing through the final stages in the UK.

McLaughlin congratulated to both Sugg and Ahmad through his official Twitter account.

The premier also highlighted Ahmad’s assistance to the Cayman Islands and tagged him in his tweet, thanking him for his “approach when working with Cayman and all the Territories over the last few years”.

“Your sense of partnership and friendship with the [British Overseas Territories] is greatly appreciated. I wish you every success in your new role,” McLaughlin said in his tweet.

Sugg, following her appointment, tweeted on her official Twitter account that she was “delighted” to be returning as a minister to the Department for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

She said she is looking forward to “delivering”.

Under her new role, Sugg will also have responsibility for gender equality.

“I’ll be covering education and working towards 12 years of quality education for every girl in the world,” she said on Twitter.

Sugg’s full responsibilities include:

  • Overseas Territories
  • children, education and youth (including girls’ education)
  • sexual and reproductive health and rights, women and girls, LGBT, civil society, inclusive societies, disability
  • global partnerships and Sustainable Development Goals
  • departmental operations: finance and protocol

Some of Cayman’s constitutional changes

  • Mandatory consultation on laws directly affecting the Cayman Islands
  • Removal of governor’s power to write legislation
  • Removal of governor’s power to write standing orders for the Legislative Assembly
  • Renaming the Legislative Assembly to Parliament
  • Addition of an eighth minister (deferred until the next election)
  • Creation of parliamentary secretaries
  • Creation of a Police Service Commission

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