BVI News

Court saw Willock’s bias, says Vanterpool on D4 victory

Mark Vanterpool

While noting that he predicted the win, Mark Vanterpool said he believe the court ruled in his favour partly because House of Assembly Speaker Julian Willock’s bias was evident.

Vanterpool said he is now ready to be sworn in and to serve residents of the Fourth District.

“I am glad that we are vindicated. It all started in the wrong way, some of it my fault, but I am glad that the court vindicated me and the people of the Fourth District and Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition will be well represented by me,” he said to members of the media moments after the ruling.

He continued: “Obviously the Speaker took a partisan position, and he is not supposed to. He is the Speaker of the House, and he is supposed to be bipartisan, and he did take a partisan approach in calling for a by-election. That was not his role, and it is not what he is supposed to be doing, he is supposed to represent the House on both sides.

“So, obviously he was representing the House against me, and the judge realized that and ruled against him. So I hope that he will take a different position now and we can all get into the House and do the people’s work.”

Expected victory

In the meantime, the member-elect said he was not surprised by the court’s ruling because of the provisions set out in the Virgin Islands Constitution.

“I look forward to doing that (being sworn-in) right away,” he said, adding that he hopes that the “Speaker will move very quickly” to swear him in.

He again apologized to the members of his district for the controversy.

In the meantime, Speaker of the House of Assembly Julian Willock and his legal team refused to speak to BVI News following the ruling.

Notably, the Speaker previously said he would honour any decision made by the court.


The court is set to rule on which party will cover the cost on July 12.

The High Court has ruled in favour of Mark Vanterpool being sworn in as the Fourth District Representative.

Justice Ann-Marie Smith made the ruling inside the building that houses the High Court and the House of Assembly on Thursday, May 2.

She was made to decide on the matter when Vanterpool filed for judicial review after Speaker of the House Julian Willock declined to swear him into the seat.

The controversy started on March 5 after Vanterpool, who won the Fourth District seat, submitted his resignation. After submitting the letter, he was advised that the letter should have been addressed to the Speaker of the House and not the Clerk.

Vanterpool then had a change of heart and requested in a second letter to be sworn-in. However, Willock acknowledged the letter and refused to have Vanterpool sworn-in. Willock said he already accepted the resignation, even after the territory’s Attorney General, as well as the governor, concluded that Vanterpool’s resignation was ‘constitutionally invalid’.

“The purported acceptance of that letter by the Speaker … does not, in the court’s view, create a vacant seat for the Fourth District, especially so in light of the letter from the Clerk of the House of Assembly dated March 13, 2019, and that of Mr Vanterpool’s dated March 14,” the court reasoned said.

However, the Speaker previously said he would honour any decision made by the court.

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67 Comments

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  1. Backward< says:

    Who is paying for this?

    Like 35
    Dislike 1
    • Taxpayers says:

      TAXPAYERS

      Like 28
      Dislike 1
      • Strupps! says:

        Mark should be made to pay. This whole mess is his doing. All he had to do was show up with the others and be sworn in.

        Like 30
        Dislike 73
      • Honourable says:

        An honourable, let alone esteemed, speaker who resign after this incredibly embarrassing stand off. He was told by the Governor, the AG and numerous others that he was in the wrong and yet he persisted in refusing to swear in Mark, and even insisted on bringing in a lawyer, subject to criminal charges in Trinidad, to assist him in his hopeless enterprise.
        The question of whether he resigns will determine if he is honourable or esteemed.
        The HoA cannot have confidence in him (if it ever did).
        Funnily enough this story is not yet appearing on VINO – not reported first and accurately there!

        Like 68
        Dislike 8
      • H says:

        look the taxpayers have to pay because of Julian not mark

        Like 56
        Dislike 9
        • @ H says:

          Exactly …JW told MV take it to Court. A matter of fact JW initially said he was going to take it to Court himself then despite advisement to swear MV in; refused, then told District 8 Rep in HOA that MV could take it to Court because he considered the matter closed and had nothing further to discuss on it.

          JW The Emperor’s New Clothes should teach you a lesson.

          Like 4
          Dislike 1
    • @Backward says:

      Willock

      Like 30
      Dislike 5
      • Shorty says:

        Sure bet will be taxpayers when the press release from the Office of the HOA revealed key words yesterday that GOVERNMENT contracted the law firm to handle the matter in court.

        Like 31
        Dislike 1
    • L says:

      You’ll hear.

    • The rocl says:

      Willock

      Like 9
      Dislike 3
    • Voter says:

      Bevis and delta…..remember you read it hear first…. Look out watch Delta making moves again…

    • Observer says:

      Willock should be made to foot the legal bill personally. He was intransigent and BULLHEADED. The solution was common sense, there was no constituted House of Assembly when Vanterpool “resigned” (the House of Assembly having been dissolved before the date of the last election). You become a member of the House when you are elected AND sworn in. In the same way you need an instrument of appointment/swearing in to become a Minister. Therefore Vanterpool had no right to resign because he was not yet a member of the House-you cannot resign from something you are not a part of. The Attorney General, the government’s lawyer, took gave this advice and Willock-a member of the government-decided to disregard the AG’s advice and went overseas for a lawyer to defend a case and to advance a ludicrous argument in Court,thus he should pay.

      Willock should also resign. How can he now command the confident of ALL the members of the House-which the Speaker should-when he acted so blatantly partisan, took a position, which has now been rebuked by the Court?

      Like 13
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  2. ReX FeRaL says:

    All for naught. Who Gain in all this shiggidy? The 4th district is the ghetto of all districts.

    Like 16
    Dislike 33
  3. Reasonable Man says:

    An appropriate conclusion. Lots of work to do, it is time to move on.

    Like 41
    Dislike 1
  4. Lol says:

    This is where arrogance get you no where…. what Mark did was wrong but the law was in his favour. Just accept it and move on. But if i know the E******d an appeal is on it’s way. Not a good start for a new government.

    Like 50
    Dislike 2
  5. Real life says:

    I have been wondering, where does the speaker’s authority come from whether to accept a resignation. Exactly how far is his or her authority extended.

    To whom does a Speaker answer for his or her actions?

    Just looking for some clarification please.

    Like 36
    • Political Intelligence says:

      The speaker is answerable to the birds of feather flock together Premier. He was elected by the low IQers of the VI.

      Like 25
      Dislike 4
  6. wow says:

    So why isn’t this breaking news on the other site.

    Everybody will be blaming Willox for this but really should point their finger at his boss. Fahie you should be ashamed for dragging out this nightmare.

    Mark you need a share of the blame but congratulations. Willox please swear him and get over this nightmare.

    Like 51
    Dislike 4
    • L says:

      Fahie is NOT Willock’s boss. The speaker is in control of the HOA. It has nothing to do with the premier.

      Like 12
      Dislike 27
      • Stop drinking the Koolaid! says:

        If the speaker of the house has no boss and is a law unto himself, why does he need government support when he chooses to do stuff like this?

        Are you saying that he should have utter autonomy to do whatever he pleases without question? Including trying to to subvert the legal tenants of the Constitution? The law of the land? Without impunity? Are you mad?

        Further to that, it is within the governments power, specifically the premier to fire the speaker as well as appoint him or her. So tell me again how he doesn’t have a boss?

        To whom then is the speaker accountable?

        Pick sense out of nonsense and stop drink the koolaid. There are no alternative facts, only facts!

        Like 37
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    • L says:

      It right there on the other site.

    • Hi says:

      Not on the other sites particularly vino because the story does not inflate the speaker’s ego….

      Like 10
    • NOT SURE says:

      Not sure what you’re talking about. It’s breaking news on all the sites.

      Like 2
      Dislike 4
  7. Just says:

    The obvious decision. A total unnecessary waste of money and time. The speaker needs to pay for this from his personal money and not the tax payer. And I would have said the same if Mark lost, would have expected him to pay. Now let’s get on with running the country

    Like 54
    Dislike 6
  8. Weir D. Playne says:

    The only winner in this whole fiasco is Mark’s lawyers. Mark’s reputation, Willock, Willock’s lawyers, government, 4th district and people of the BVI all lost.

    Like 28
    Dislike 2
  9. Tone deaf says:

    I wonder how the Speaker feels now. Such arrogance.

    Like 57
    Dislike 9
    • @ Tone deaf says:

      just saw him a big smile I think he will have the last laugh

      Like 6
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    • Helpus! says:

      He does not feel no way. As my grandmother used to say, “he has no shame-box” so he can’t feel a way in this matter.
      Swear in Mark and let us stop wasting Government’s money on friends and well-wishers of the Esteemed and his party.

      Like 21
      Dislike 5
  10. Uhhh says:

    the haters are hurting now. Tis only now we going to see more hate, division and dis-unity among our people.

    No prospects for peace and untiy no time into the future.

    What a blight people of their own making.

    Congratulations. Principle, the law and the Constitution stood firm.

    Like 18
    Dislike 7
  11. Reply says:

    No surprise here. I expected this result as any non-bias person would who understands the constitution and the facts of the case.

    This case as I said on previous blogs had no business in court to begin. The fact that the new Speaker decided to hire outside counsel to pursue this case despite what the Governor had determined relative to a bi-election, and equally important ignoring the governments very own lawyer was outrageous, and suggest something about his character.

    IMO, the Speaker should foot the entire legal cost of this case including paying for one of his legal counsul services who was arrested in Trinidad yesterday for alleged crimes.

    Mr. Vanterpool should not have to pay a red cent.

    I don’t know how he can be an impartial speaker after this fiasco.

    Like 60
    Dislike 4
    • Please says:

      Can the speaker now be impartial. Assuming he was ever able to be so. He needs replacing or will continue to be an e—————t to the government

      Like 22
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      • Reply says:

        I never thought he could given his past actions, but he sat out to convince otherwise. One could only have taken him at his words which were:

        “I pledge that my tenure as Speaker will be fair, non-partisan, and objective … The dignity of the House should not be compromised,” Willock said in an address after his election.

        The question is, has he lived up to that pledge thus far especially after he decided to take this matter to court?

        Like 28
      • HA says:

        He wanted to be written in HOA history but the judge all but confirmed what most sensible people knew about this individual. Ha Ha

  12. Crazy says:

    No duhhh. To no big surprise. Look how much time and money was slwasted behind this! Strupes just hurry up swear in the man now so we could get on from this mess.

    Like 20
    Dislike 2
  13. All smiles says:

    Fahie is brilliant. he could have jump in and address the issue from early but allowed it to play out. now he can be in charge and tell the speaker when to calm down. Had he step in before it would have come across as in fighting.

    Fahie is the only winner in this

    Like 6
    Dislike 24
    • @all smiles says:

      This is really all the sense you got for true? We are worse off than I thought. Only God could help us then.

      Like 10
      Dislike 1
  14. Confucius says:

    I hate to say I told you so … but I did on March 29th.

    ________________________

    “I wish the speaker would pick his battles and that Premier Fahie would guide him in this regard.

    This is NOT a battle worth fighting! Get on with the business of running the country and making advancements. The VIP will pay for justice delayed dragging this mess into the courts.

    The people of the 4th elected Mr. Vanterpool and he NOW wants to represent them. If there is any question as to his suitability as a member of the house, then poll the people of the 4th and ask them if they WANT a new election or not!

    Going to court is a HUGE mistake! DON’T DO IT!!!”

    _______________________________

    Now can Government please get down to business and will the speaker kindly learn to choose his battles more wisely. You have cost us all quite enough. The chest thumping needs to stop right now.

    Like 22
    Dislike 1
  15. Yasssssss says:

    He’s backkkkkk, welcome back to the 4th Mark, knew you would be back Yasssss.

    Like 29
    Dislike 3
  16. Ausar says:

    Yaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy!!!!

    Congrats to you, Honourable Vanterpool!!

    I knew the law was on your side and you would win!

    Now it’s time to get about the people’s business. Your voice was truly missed and now we’ve got it back!

    Yay, yayy!!

    Like 27
    Dislike 4
    • Yes Mark says:

      Your voice was truly missed. So glad you are back. I knew all along you would be back. Welcome back Buddy.

      Like 21
      Dislike 5
  17. I FROM HERE says:

    A dummy knew this! We didn’t need a lawyer or the judge to tell us!

    Like 17
    Dislike 2
  18. Just my 2 cents says:

    I recalled my posting made under the news captioned – Court to decide on D4 dispute on May 2, wherein I outline the likely matters the learned Justice must consider and concluded that the Justice has no other alternative but to rule in the elected rep’s favour (since the decision should have initially been made by the House and not the speaker before it was referred to the court).

    It is crystal clear therefore, that the advice/opinion given then to the Governor and Speaker by the Hon. Attorney General was very sound, solid and not based on selfish, bias, perverse or malicious intent. Indeed, the Hon. Attorney General is clearly vindicated. It will serve our government and taxpayers very well if his advices/opinions are heeded. Sadly however, my humble view is that the Speaker’s advisors/attorneys played on his emotions and egocentricity.

    We must move forward as a nation. Will the speaker accept ‘defeat’ and have the rep sworn in? Will the judgement be challenged? Will further cost be incurred by the taxpayers to appeal?

    Time will tell but I trust that wisdom will prevail and the peoples’ business in the House continues with insights from the elected rep rather than wasting further tax-payers fund on useless personal vendetta.

    Like 25
    Dislike 3
  19. Boy Blue says:

    One Nail in VIP Coffin..Welcome back Action Man.

    Like 24
    Dislike 12
  20. Go Away says:

    We truly don’t want you back Vanterpool. I was a strong supporter and gave you my vote and you spat back in my face, why should we want you back.

    Like 11
    Dislike 36
    • Island Person says:

      FOH you liar! You probably can’t vote!

      Like 19
      Dislike 2
    • @Go Away says:

      Please just shut the H*LL up with the lies.If you are a strong supporter of someone or something, you stick with the someone or something during the good times and the bad times. Please stop incerting we, You canot speak for the majority.

    • The rock says:

      Ya lie, u.never supported HON. Vanterpool, cayse if u did u will know the man is not thst, that u described, go long!

  21. Concern says:

    There is no winner in this matter
    1)Mark been representing persons for more than 20 yrs and didn’t now that he should penn the speaker and not the clerk?
    2)persons run for an election to win because they would articulate there speeches night after night to let their followers know how they would try to make their lives easier by making policy in the honorable house.
    3) If someone winn an election and days later have no regards for those who placed their confidence in you, it says a whole lot about the person.
    4) Glad to know that you acknowledge all this is your fault.
    You are still left with some character.
    History books would be rewritten.

    • @ concern says:

      There was no speaker at the time he wrote the letter!

      Yes MV was wrong and has admitted it but JW was also wrong in not following the constitution. He himself acknowledged that the letter was invalid but because it was not beneficial to him or his party, he put the country through this fiasco. Ask yourself, If the letter had come from a member of his party, would we have gone through this?

      I’m waiting for the speaker’s admission of guilt as well……

  22. joseph says:

    Mr. Vanterpool stated the Speaker should be “bipartisan.”

    He should have said “non-partisan.” Meaninig unbiased.

  23. $$$$ says:

    The speaker should be made to pay for Mark lawyers also.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  24. Should says:

    JW need to issue a public apology to the people of D4 for holding them hostage.

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
  25. APPEAL says:

    LOOK – WILLOCK’S LAWYER GAVE GOOD ARGUMENTS. I WOULD APPEAL- LET THE HIGHER COURT DECIDE

    Dislike 15
  26. Score says:

    Action Man – 2
    Tonty Man – 0

  27. Mike O says:

    Willock was so b**s even the blind could have seen this b**s from afar off..hence,the ruling given..justice has been served

  28. To the members of the HOA says:

    We all acknowledge that the speaker is b****d. If you recall, he actually attempted to run on the VIP ticket BEFORE he got this appointment as his reward.

    It’s interesting to me that there is little outrage from the members of the house about his appointment given that they had so much to say about The former speaker who was only rumored to be running and it would have been AFTER her term as speaker. SMH. Right is right and wrong is wrong regardless of which party you support.

    I ask the members of the house to be just as vocal about their objections to this speaker as they were about the previous. Let’s put country above party.

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