This advice came from Senior Legislator and New Opposition Leader, Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) during a brief speech at the 3rd Sitting of the 4th Session of the 4th House of Assembly, at the Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff’s Bottom, Tortola, shortly after in the swearing-in of Mrs George-Massicote.
“Madam Speaker, I urge you in this short term you have before this term ends, to be a quick learner in the post of Speaker because it is quite possible that you like others might misconstrue the meaning of speaker and its functions,” he added.
Hon George-Massicote was told to study Erskine May: Parliamentary Practice, the local standing orders, as well as to have a general familiarization with her duties of the speaker.
“All too often Speakers might feel in their mind that they might be treated like Ministers,” Hon Fraser added. He said a Speaker also is not a minister and should not be emulated as a Minister.
Hon Fraser added that the HoA Clerk is there an advisor, “Advice isn’t always taken, but my advice to you is to take the advice of the clerk”, he told Hon George-Massicote.
“The House of Assembly as far as the speaker is concerned, is limited to these hallowed walls and if you keep that in mind, there is no trouble for you to get into,” he added.
Meanwhile, Hon Fraser vowed his assistance to the speaker in conducting herself and executing her duties, ‘The House of Assembly has done some great things and there are great things in the pipeline,” he added.
Other legislators also congratulated the New Speaker on taking up the new role. Mrs George-Massicote was nominated to the post by Premier Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) and seconded by Minister for Communications and Works Hon Kye M. Rymer (R5).
The swearing-in of Mrs George-Massicote came almost three weeks after the untimely resignation of former Speaker Julian Willock.