House Speaker McKeeva Bush has refuted claims that public funds were used for his United Kingdom trip last week.
Bush, who returned to Cayman Saturday night from London, responded to social media claims that he went to the UK to meet with Premier Alden McLaughlin and his trip was funded from the public coffers.
Last week, he told the Cayman Compass that he was in London for a previously arranged trip to attend a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meeting.
It was during that trip that Premier McLaughlin, who was already in London for talks with the UK on the European Union’s blacklisting of Cayman, as well as trade matters, met with Bush over allegations that the Speaker was involved in the assault of the female manager at Coral Beach bar on West Bay Road.
After his meeting with the premier, Bush announced that he will be taking an immediate leave of absence from Speaker duties.
Bush, as the deputy chairman of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Small Branches Executive Council, “is the representative for all Commonwealth small countries”, he said, adding that “the entire meeting’s cost, including airline and hotel cost, is paid by CPA Headquarters in London”.
He said the council finished its meeting in London on Friday.
“I’m the Deputy Chair for Commonwealth Small Countries. I and the CPA Coordinating Committee met in London on 27 Feb. with the lawyers of CPA to discuss a number of matters as mandated by the CPA General Assembly which was held in Kampala, Uganda, in September 2019,” he said in a statement to the Compass.
He said the meeting was “most important” as it was held to deliberate on grievances and disputes between the Secretary General of the CPA, who was put on leave in October, and the chair of the CPA, who is the Deputy Speaker of the Cameroon parliament.
“[It was also] to conclude disciplinary actions thereof and to review new applications for the post of Secretary General. They also discussed the preparations for the forthcoming CPA Mid-Year Executive Committee meeting to be held in Assam, India, from 24 to 28 April 2020,” Bush said.