The Commissioner was at the time speaking a guest on the Tuesday, October 27, 2020, edition ‘Honestly Speaking’ radio show when moderator Claud O. Skelton asked for his position on the topic.
On Monday, September 7, 2020, during an interview with 284 Media, Mr Jaspert said paying reparations to the VI for acts of slavery and the slave trade is not the position of the UK at the moment.
“I've followed the media response on the points that you raised and the first point I will make, is look, as you've rightly said as a white British guy, I'm not even sure I can put myself in the shoes of a black nation whose ancestors suffered at the hands of white people,” CoP Matthews said.
“It's a stain on the history of the UK and certainly… British people of today aren’t proud of that, although…not every person from the UK has relatives that were slavers same as not every black person as relatives who were slaves.”
The Commissioner said that while he understands the emotion that comes with reflecting about slavery, he said reparations is a question that only governments can determine at the end of the day.
The Governor On Monday, September 7, 2020, during an interview with 284 Media, said paying reparations to the VI for acts of slavery and the slave trade is not the position of the UK at the moment.
He also called for relics of slavery such as the channel named after slave owner Sir Francis Drake to be preserved in the Territory causing community outrage with several calling for the Governor to apologise for the statements.
Leading the calls for an apology is Commentator Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline, right, who has asked for Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert, to apologise for his unartful comments on reparations and has been counting the days that no apology is made.
According to CoP Matthews, “I suppose my only point that I can make... you're asking the Queen for an apology because of course, Governor Jaspert is the Head of State, he is the Queen's representative, he's here doing her will, her bidding.”
He said it, therefore, becomes difficult to be looking to the Queen for an apology, “How do BVIslanders who are her Majesty’s subject, ask Her Majesty for an apology…. and for me, we have to take that with the personality out of it, you know it's not about the Governor,” CoP Matthews said.
“So, I think he [Governor Jaspert] is in a difficult position, I don't see he can personally apologize on behalf of the Queen and I think that's a difficult one,” the ToP CoP commented.