North Side MLA Ezzard Miller has joined mounting calls for House Speaker McKeeva Bush’s resignation in the wake of the ongoing investigation into allegations of assault leveled against the veteran lawmaker.
Mr. Miller’s is the first public statement made by any sitting Member of the Legislative Assembly and it comes four days after the incident.
“I consequently suggest that it is in the best interest of both Mr. Bush and the people of the Cayman Islands that Mr. Bush resigns from the role of Speaker forthwith or that the necessary action be taken to remove him from office,” Miller said in a statement issued Tuesday morning.
Miller released a statement Tuesday morning saying that he was “disappointed and saddened” by the events reported over the weekend of Bush’s involvement in an alleged incident that left one woman nursing minor injuries.
No government ministers have issued any statements or comments on the turn of events.
Former George Town MLA Winston Connolly pointed to this in a Facebook post, saying, “The silence from our leaders, particularly female leaders is deafening!”
The Premier’s Office has said a statement on this issue will be released Tuesday.
On Monday, Bush issued an apology saying he did not recall the incident but was told he that he passed out and fell and reacted badly when he was being helped to his feet.
He also said he was seeking professional help for the grief he said he was dealing with over the loss of his daughter in 2011 and more recently his mother. He also pledged to give up alcohol, which he used to deal with his grief.
Police, Monday evening, issued a call for witnesses to come forward.
Miller, in his statement, questioned the House Speaker’s ability to continue in his role.
“This is a matter of urgency, particularly as the medical conditions detailed in the apology do raise questions about the Speaker’s physical and mental ability to continue to serve in his present national position,” Miller said.
He said in conjunction with this “there are the inevitable implications for his ability to sustain the confidence, trust and respect essential to his role at the apex of government.”
This is not the first time Bush has found himself on the wrong side of the law with his interactions with women.
Back in 2017 Bush was arrested by Seminole police in Florida after a casino waitress alleged that the lawmaker had touched her buttocks. He was, at the time, held on misdemeanor battery charges.
The case was later dropped by Florida prosecutors.
Bush, in his statement, on Friday’s alleged incident, said, “I had no intention of doing so. I did not know where I was or what had happened or who was assisting me to get back to my feet. I was confused and disorientated, a similar feeling to that which I experienced when coming out of anesthetic from my previous operations. I can only assume that I must have believed that I was in danger.”
However, Miller said the entire scenario is disconcerting.
“While the matter is under investigation and we must avoid a rush to judgement, the circumstances related in the Speaker’s apology itself, along with media accounts of this and at least one other similar serious incident, demonstrate an unacceptable pattern of behavior. Raising even greater disquiet, the apology details serious medical concerns, requiring “long-term professional help” and identifying the need to “cease any use of alcohol,” he said.
He called on Minister of Health and “the Unity Government to ensure the Speaker gets the rehabilitative treatment he says he needs, in the most suitable institution available.”
Miller added that as House Speaker Bush is third in order of precedence and “serious concerns are inescapable about continuing reputational damage to the Cayman Islands locally and internationally.”
The hashtag #sheissupported has been trending on social media.
The Cayman Compass reached out for comment from Bush, we are awaiting a response. The Compass has also reached out to a number of legislators, including Austin Harris, Tara Rivers, Roy McTaggart, Bernie Bush, Joey Hew, Chris Saunders, Barbara Conolly and Moses Kirkconnell.