Commentator Claude O. Skelton-Cline, while on his live radio show Honestly Speaking, could not contain his disbelief and anger that Honourable Lorna G. Smith, OBE, a National Democratic Party (NDP) At Large Representative, has joined the elected members of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) to form the next government of the Virgin Islands.
“I could not have fathomed within the deepest recesses of my imagination that if anybody would have moved from the National Democratic Party, NDP, or the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement, PVIM…not Lorna Smith, I would have put money on it,” Skelton-Cline said on the April 25, 2023, edition of his show on ZBVI 780 AM and live-streamed on Facebook.
Mrs Smith forms Gov't with VIP
In a bombshell announcement yesterday, April 25, 2023, Mrs Smith announced that she would be teaming up with the Virgin Islands
Party’s six elected representatives as the seventh member to help form the new Government under Premier Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7).
It came as PVIM led by Hon Ronnie W. Skelton (AL), NDP led by Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) and Progressives United (PU) led by Julian Fraser RA (R3) could not reach an agreement to form the next government and oust the VIP from office.
Both PVIM and NDP won 3 seats and PU won 1, which meant they had the opportunity to take the government with their 7 seats combined.
Hon Smith said her decision came after a discussion with several parties and ultimately the decision to join with the VIP while remaining a member of the NDP is one that came from putting country above self.
Radio Talk show host Claude O.
Skelton-Cline has slammed National Democratic Party’s At-Large
representative Hon Lorna G. Smith OBE for 'jumping ship' and teaming up
with the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) to form the new government.
A blow to the NDP - Skelton-Cline
Skelton-Cline said: “Just when you thought you have seen it all, keep on living you will see some more… even as I sit here right now, I still can’t believe it, I still can’t grasp it,” he said in obvious frustration.
The talk show host added that he wish he was in a dream or a nightmare rather than to have seen Ms Smith team up to form the VIP Government, and questioned the electorate on whether they have voted for what transpired.
On the 2023 campaign trail, the talk show host openly used his platform to back the PVIM and indicated he was no longer a member of the VIP.
Further, Mr Skelton-Cline, who had prophesied a woman becoming Premier, admitted to backing PVIM’s Shereen D. Flax-Charles who crossed the floor from VIP, rather than the District 9 candidate, Hon Vincent o. Wheatley.
He was also pushing Perline R. Scatliffe-Leonard in the Seventh District; however, Premier Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley retained his seat.
“I don’t know how the National Democratic Party (NDP) survives this, this is the second time they have put a death nail in the NDP and this may be the final death nail,” he added while questioning the integrity of the process.
Hon Smith in a statement yesterday
justified her move to form the Government with the party by adding that
while on the campaign trail, she had consistently said that she is
willing to work with whichever party the people of the BVI elect, in the
best interest of this territory.
Country over self - Hon Smith
Hon Smith in a statement yesterday justified her move to form the Government with the Virgin Islands
Party by adding that on the campaign trail she had consistently said she is willing to work with whichever party the people of the VI elect.
“I remain grateful to the people for the faith they have placed in me and I will uphold my promises to you, now and throughout my tenure. The people have spoken: they want a coalition of persons to run the territory,” she added.