Opposition throws Bryan out

| 05/03/2020 | 185 Comments
Cayman News Service
MLA Kenneth Bryan defends his position on Rooster, 5 March 2020

(CNS): The official opposition has thrown MLA Kenneth Bryan (GTC) out of the group after he refused to support the rest of the members in their efforts to convene a special meeting of the Legislative Assembly. Despite calls by the public for House Speaker McKeeva Bush to resign over his admission of a violent assault while drunk at a beach bar last month, Bryan has stymied the opposition’s move to force government to come to the LA and address the multiple issues that have arisen from the speaker’s behaviour.

In a press release issued Thursday, the opposition said the meeting was needed to debate the implications of the speaker’s statement on 24 February, where he announced that he would take a leave of absence, after apologising for the incident to his victim and others. He also admitted that he is dealing with alcohol problems as a result of lingering mental health issues that he has failed to address.

But the opposition has echoed comments by MLA Ezzard Miller, who was the first to call for an emergency session of parliament. They agreed with the North Side member that there are constitutional implications over the speaker’s decision to simply temporary step down until he decides when he is better. And it is also now apparent that the public behaviour of a politician in such high office has also thrown up other problems that need to be addressed.

But Bryan has chosen not to support his colleagues and has made public statements that do not align with the other members of the opposition. The opposition said the decision by Bryan is “an obstruction to the opposition’s ability to do one aspect of its job, to ensure that the integrity of the People’s House remains intact. By blocking the opposition’s ability to request a special meeting, the country is deprived of the opportunity to hear from the very people they elected to represent them.”

The conduct of the speaker, his admissions about his impairment, the unilateral grant of leave to him by the premier which may not be constitutional, the need to address the behaviour of members, and what the public should expect from their representatives all need to be discussed, the opposition has said.

Given that this is not the first time the Speaker has caused embarrassment to the country, the opposition members said this latest incident is a tipping point for the people, who are incensed with the double standard that appears to be afforded to those in power.

“If the government is comfortable leaving the public with this view, we, as opposition, certainly are not,” the remaining opposition members stated, as they called for the parliament to meet.

Bryan has claimed that his decision not to support the call for a special meeting of the LA, even to just debate the situation, is because he believes it is premature. Bryan said the members should be waiting for evidence from the police that the speaker did something wrong.

However, the speaker has apologised for his behaviour, admitted he lashed out at those who tried to assist him, and revealed that he is dealing with alcohol problems.

Nevertheless, Bryan made further efforts to justify his position on Rooster’s morning talk show, Crosstalk, on Thursday, when he claimed he was not opposing the idea of a meeting but he felt that without police evidence, members should wait.

However, regardless of whether or not the incident results in criminal charges, the speaker himself has clearly admitted that he behaved, at the very least, extremely unpleasantly in a public place, which many believe is sufficient for him to resign, and if he will not do so willingly, MLAs should be given the chance to impress upon him the need to do so.

The issue was summed up succinctly by long-time advocate for women’s rights and a campaigner against gender based violence, Carolina Ferreira, when she called into the show. She asked Bryan if he believed the only standard for removal from office for those holding prestigious positions is some kind of criminal charge, and short of that, by implication, anything goes. But Bryan struggled to give a meaningful response.

The George Town Central MLA appears to be standing his ground and is therefore quite clearly now poles apart from the position taken by his colleagues on the opposition benches.

Opposition MLA Chris Saunders (BTW) highlighted why this does not need to rise to the level of a criminal charge for the speaker to resign and why he was calling for his resignation. He recalled how his mother started her career as a waitress at the then Royal Palm Hotel.

“For many years she had to shrug off abuse from drunken patrons because she had five children to feed and educate,” he said. “For me to stay silent and not to speak up for women in particular but all hospitality workers in general knowing the sacrifices my mother made on behalf of my sisters and I, would be a betrayal to my mother, my conscience and my constituents who value the role of women in our society,” he added.

CNS reached out to Bryan for comment and we are awaiting a response.

See the full opposition statement and comments from members in the CNS Library

Watch Bryan’s battle to defend his unpopular decision here.


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Category: Politics

Comments (185)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Bush is still a hero to a lot of people here that have a vote. He beat up an expat not a Caymanian so they are good with that. It is because so many of them believe what he did was right he will never be arrested or even charged and he will still be a leader and honorable by law until he is taken by God. He is just the top of the garbage heap that is Caymans biggest problem.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Johann,sounds like you’re up for running with Ezzard, but I know that will be the end of us with Ezzard as premier.

  3. Anonymous says:

    How can a LA meeting be called without a speaker? Mr Steve McField can you answer this for me please,and very strange how Bernie choose the time he did to resign his post. .

    • Helen says:

      Check out last Thursday radio cayman for answers. See you tube

    • Anonymous says:

      Amazing things happen only in Cayman. Time for direct rule to end all this nonsense and get this place back in track. This is our only hope. I have given up on all the elected representatives.

  4. Anonymous says:

    He is too clever by half.

  5. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    I don’t and can’t know what motivations Mr. Kenneth has for his actions. I have to say to him: Mr. Kenneth, if you are not willing to stand against violence against ANYONE, if you are not willing to do the right thing even (and especially) when that is contrary to your allies, if you are not willing to stand for the people in spite of politics, then you will never get my vote.

    You still have time, Sir, to change your path. Time is short. Choose the right path. Think of what your elders would do and want. Do what your constituents want; after all, that is your job.

    I don’t believe Mr. Kenneth is a bad man. I think he is conflicted. You have to choose Sir. Choose wisely. We are all watching.

    • Anonymous says:

      Didn’t the man stand up for a woman police when her boyfriend was attacking and abusing here and the he was arrested for doing that?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Kenneth I watched your Rooster interview and have concluded you’re a fraud. It starts being very well versed with the dishonorable speakers statement dissecting paragraphs that exonerate him yet seem to have ignored the next very obvious document to peruse thouroghly, that being the police report. You claim to want the all of the information to make an informed decision yet have selectively chosen information to suit a purpose, – this all compounded later in the interview when all of sudden you reveal knowledge of ‘3 different police reports’ all with subtle changes and being cognizant of the context they brought. There’s very little choice but to eventually fold to what Woody presented with a last grasp being it was the Police Commissioner to have let the side down with whom there’s a requirement now to have a ‘good chat with’ and save face, – but wait Kenneth, shortly after the first caller you concede you’ve already spoken to him, was getting the facts not part of the conversation ?

    no confidence Kenneth, step down, disgraceful

  7. Anonymous says:

    Good.

  8. What can Brown do for U says:

    You are right 4:39pm I am sure glad because I don’t have to vote for or alongside idiots like you and your phony representative, who has put his foot in doodoo and now stuck it in he big mouth Bon Appetite !! to you and Mckeewa.

    • Anonymous says:

      Stand your ground Kenneth if you have reason. Do not make your decisions based on the outcry by the social media Lynch mob. That was what the opposition did.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I have never seen anything as such. I want to make this clear that I did “NOT” support Mr. Bryan as a representative. However, I think that he made it quite clear for the decision that he made. I can only agree with the gentleman for simply waiting for the investigation to be completed and then he will make his decision. This is clear as it could get. He same to be the only one with sense. Come on Caymanians… listen to his explanation carefully….wise up. ( A Marco Archer supporter)

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re an idiot, – forget a pending police investigation. The speaker has already disgraced himself by way of confession in his statement and therefore the position he holds as chair.

      That’s it, that’s all you need at this point to hold the special meeting and any other further charges simply buttressing the motion to remove him. ( A ‘what’s right’ supporter)

      • BeaumontZodecloun says:

        You sit in judgement of the poster’s opinion. I agree with your view, but don’t condone you calling an opposing view “an idiot”.

        What makes you so proud?

        • Anonymous says:

          You’re absolutly right 6:33 I should have done better. I sincerely respect the OP’s opinion but the opinion also brings with it a call to action directing myself and other Caymanians to ‘listen to this explanation carefully….wise up’, – in short to sympathize with Mr Bryan’s stance and find it acceptable permitting the The Speaker to forego his civic responsibilities (outside of that of a pending assault charge) with the position he holds and be devoid of any consequences should he be in breach of such duties.

          OP I sincerely apologize for the choice of words used but please at the same time don’t suggest I seek to reeducate myself to an alternative diversion by Mr Bryan when the facts and implication of them are already there. 6:33 thank you for keeping me honest.

        • Anonymous says:

          He was being kind.

    • Anonymous says:

      But his decision was not to avoid condemning the Speaker. It was to prevent the LA even discussing it. And not just the Speakers conduct – including the issues of alcohol and mental stress admitted by him – but the practical problems caused by not having a functional Speaker or Deputy. What’s the excuse for that – since it has nothing to do with the criminal investigation.

    • Anonymous says:

      How long does it take to carry out the investigation? There were so many witnesses and video too.

  10. Anon Caymanian says:

    Oh boy, when one MLA does something rotten, the CAYMAN-BASHERS, the critics against our representative democracy here on CNS, come out to bash ALL OUR MLAS.

    Why ????

    Typical 🙂
    They have an Agenda to undermine democratic processes on this island. So they go overboard in criticizing not just one but ALL who the PEOPLE elected.

    • Anonymous says:

      To be fair how many of our 18 MLAs have condemned what you say is something rotten? 6 of them. The other 12 deserve everything they get.

  11. Anonymous says:

    What makes you think the young man don’t have education?

    • Anonymous says:

      Because it’s a fact. People are actually from here and grew up with them and know him from time.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Oh boy ,it would suprise ye if you all would sign ye name.

  13. Anonymous says:

    National Vote….

  14. Anonymous says:

    What the hells wrong with you people,leave the man wife out of this ,and I can asure you Kennethbryan is not a woman beater.

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