The official Opposition and George Town Central MLA Kenneth Bryan have parted ways.
The move follows Bryan’s decision not to support his fellow Opposition members and North Side MLA Ezzard Miller in their bid to trigger a special sitting of the Legislative Assembly to elect a new Deputy House Speaker and debate a no-confidence motion in House Speaker McKeeva Bush.
Bush is currently facing a police investigation into allegations that he was involved in the assault of the female manager at the Coral Beach bar on West Bay Road.
Opposition Leader Arden McLean, in a statement Thursday, said he recognises that being a representative and an advocate of the people requires very strong personalities and, as such, there will be differences and compromises will have to be made.
“The majority of members on the Opposition bench have made it clear that there will be a zero tolerance towards certain behaviours and anyone who condones such behaviours. Unfortunately, this is one difference that many members would not compromise on and indicated to me that they will no longer caucus with the member from George Town Central,” he said.
Under the Standing Orders of the Legislative Assembly, a minimum of seven members is required to call a meeting of the Legislative Assembly.
However, Bryan’s decision this week not to join his fellow members to force the sitting resulted in the failure of their bid to open the Assembly.
Bryan, in his statement announcing his decision not to join the call, said he felt efforts to remove Bush as Speaker were “premature” and the police should be allowed to carry out their investigation first.
This did not sit well with Bryan’s Opposition colleagues.
“The decision by the Member for George Town Central to not support the call for a special session of the Legislature is viewed by the Opposition as an obstruction to the Opposition’s ability to do one aspect of its job, to ensure that the integrity of the People’s House remains intact. By blocking the Opposition’s ability to request a special meeting, the country is deprived of the opportunity to hear from the very people they elected to represent them,” the statement said.
Last week, Bush issued an apology following the alleged incident. He said he could not recall the incident, but was told he passed out and fell. He said he was told while being helped to his feet, he “reacted badly”.
Bush alluded to having an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and said he has been dealing with the loss of his daughter whose nine-year death anniversary was at the end of January.
He has taken an indefinite leave of absence from his duties as Speaker to get professional help.
Deputy Speaker Bernie Bush then tendered his resignation in the aftermath of McKeeva Bush’s decision to take a leave of absence.
In its statement, the Opposition said, “This most recent incident involving the Speaker of the House, yet another in a long list of public incidents which embarrass the country, was a tipping point in the local community. The community is incensed with the double standard where too often people in positions of power and privilege in this community operate to a different set of rules and appear to get away with things the average citizen could never get away with.”
Bodden Town West MLA Chris Saunders and Deputy Opposition Leader Alva Suckoo, in the statement, said they could not stay silent on the issue.
This is not the first time Bryan has parted with the official Opposition. He exited the Opposition team when it was under the leadership of North Side MLA Ezzard Miller.
Bryan returned to the fold when McLean took over last year following Miller’s resignation as leader.
The Cayman Compass reached out to Bryan for comment, but a response had not been received by press time.