Chairman of the National Democratic Party (NDP) Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) has indicated that now Deputy Premier, Hon Lorna G. Smith, OBE will be removed from the NDP as a member, after she defected to form the Government with the Virgin Islands Party (VIP).
Hon Penn was at the time speaking during an Opposition press conference today, April 27, 2023, alongside leaders and elected members of the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) and Progressives United (PU).
On April 25, 2023, Hon Smith released a statement that she had teamed up with the Virgin Islands Party to give it a 7-seat majority to form a new government; however, will still remain a member of the NDP.
During the 2023 elections, the VIP won six seats in the House but needed a seventh seat in order to form the government. The NDP and the PVIM had 3 seats each and were planning to form the Government with Progressives United's (PU), 1 seat, in the person of Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3).
In indicating that Hon Lorna G. Smith
had blindsided the opposition and the NDP, Hon Penn said Mrs Smith’s
alliance with the VIP, under the name of the NDP, is not a policy of the
party and that moving forward steps will be taken to remove her from
Hon Lorna G. Smith to be removed from NDP
In indicating that Hon Smith had blindsided the Opposition and the NDP, Hon Penn said Hon Smith’s alliance with the VIP, under the name of the NDP, is not a policy of the party and that moving forward steps will be taken to remove her from the organisation.
“Her alliance in the name of the party is not representative of the party. The party brass met last evening and we made a decision that we are going to move forward to have her removed as a member of the party.
“So she does not represent a coalition with the National Democratic Party and the Virgin Islands
Party and I want to make that clear to the public,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hon Penn said he too had the opportunity to defect to form a Government under Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley, having received calls from some 7-members of the VIP, but he stood on principles to stay in his organisation based on what they campaigned on.