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‘I was the sacrificial lamb’ — Willock on resignation

‘I was the sacrificial lamb’ — Willock on resignation

“I was the sacrificial lamb,” Speaker of the House Julian Willock said when asked about his resignation from the House of Assembly earlier today.

Willock told BVI News he will have a press conference, hopefully by the end of the week, where everything will be revealed.

When pressed about who he was being sacrificed for, Willock said he would not betray the confidence of Acting Premier, Dr Natalio Wheatley and the conversation they had earlier today.

“He means well. He has been put in a precarious position, running the country, dealing with the British with the negotiations, having the Finance Ministry and dealing with his ministry. So, he has his plate full, and I will not betray his trust,” Willock said.

“What the public needs to know is that throughout my public service career and even now as the Speaker, no one can point to any misconduct, misappropriation of funds, no one can point to any corruption, no one can point to anything that the Speaker has done wrong. Yes, there were some anxieties over the injunction and the judge’s report but if you follow the chronological order of what happened there, then at the end of that I will be vindicated,” he added.

I was left no choice


Willock said he chose not to make the process contentious as he was only given two options — either resign or have the House move a motion against him.

“I was left with no choice. It appears there is no natural justice in this country. It appears you could just be a target for not doing anything. I have never betrayed my oath of honour, there must be some sort of natural justice in this country. You must resign if you do something wrong. I did nothing wrong,” the Speaker said.

“I won’t betray my conversation with the Acting Premier, but I know the real reason why. I have a lot of respect for him, and I will not betray our private conversation on the real reason why I was asked to resign,” Willock reiterated.

He further said the territory has been through a lot over the last two weeks and he did not want to add to the drama.

“I don’t want to dramatise the country anymore. Following the arrests of the Premier and those serious charges and allegations, the dropping of the COI report, I think the country has been through too much drama and stress, and it is not about me. I love my country and I think about my country and to avoid all of that, I agreed to do the honourable thing which is to submit my resignation,” he said.

Willock said he did not want to get in anyone’s way as he is not obsessed with power and as such, he will pre-empt his resignation by turning over his government-issued vehicle and phone and will be clearing his office for the next proposed Speaker.

He added that if most of the members of the House have lost confidence in him, then as Speaker, he will abide by the majority and step aside.

“I hope that everybody will be honest with themselves and this situation. I don’t mind sacrificing for my country but again, I want to make it clear that no one can accuse me of any illegal activities, locally, regionally, or anywhere. I will not betray the conversation with other members, but I have talked to other members,” Willock said.

The Speaker also made it clear that he has not officially resigned as the Speaker until he has submitted his resignation in writing.

“The constitution and the standing order state that the resignation of any members of the House of Assembly must be penned under your own hand, and I could get up and make all the announcement I want. Once that statement is not taken constitutionally speaking, I am still the Speaker,” Willock said.

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