BVI News

Returning the favour| Mitch declares support for Premier’s bodyguard decision


Opposition legislator Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull is throwing his support behind Premier Andrew Fahie’s decision to hire personal bodyguards.

Turnbull declared his support for the decision while noting that Fahie had extended support to him when his (Turnbull’s) own colleagues and party members in the previous NDP administration was against him.

“I stood on the government side for three-plus years and for many times the things I would say would be frowned upon … would be ridiculed. I remember one time, one of them who ain’t here no more — he’s up on the wall — he jumped up on me and basically tried to discipline me for saying what was in my heart, in my conscience,” Turnbull said.

He continued: “And, I remember it was the then Leader of the Opposition; now the honourable Premier who stood along with our late sister, Honorable Delores Christopher, and they supported me in saying what I had to say. Now I am going to return the favour, not that he requested it.”

Security for Premier raised during NDP’s rule

Turnbull said providing security for whoever sits as the territory’s Premier was also raised during the tenure of the former Dr D Orlando Smith-led NDP administration.

He said he recalls a caucus meeting that took place in late 2015 or 2016 when a report from the National Security Council made the recommendation.

He said the report “strongly recommended that … security be provided for the Premier”. According to Turnbull, the said report underscored that the Office of the Premier ought to command respect.

“When someone threatens anyone’s life, elected or not, I take it seriously. When you threaten somebody’s family, it is of utmost importance. Honourable Premier when I saw the security with you, this is what I said: ‘I hope the Premier will keep the security with him for as long as he is elected because it has nothing to do with Andrew Fahie’,” Turnbull said.

He said such positions ‘ought to mean something,’ and pointed out that the judiciary and legislative branch of government are given more prestige and respect than the executive.

“Premier, I want you to know I support you and as a country, you have made the right step,” said Turnbull who is representative of the Second Electoral District.

Premier Fahie recently faced criticism for hiring personal security, which persons suspected was at the expense of taxpayers. While confirming that suspicion, Premier Fahie also revealed that he made the decision to have armed bodyguards because he received three assassination threats since becoming Premier.

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.


Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. Dear Mitch says:

    I completely agree with you. The Premier have every right to hire private security to protect him and his family.If some of my tax dollars have to go towards the protection of the Country’s leader, I don’t have a problem with it. I agree with you one hundred percent.

    Like 40
    Dislike 9
    • Thank you says:

      I also want to say, Thank you Mitch for speaking on this topic. The Premier have every right to protect himself and his family at every cost nessary from the coward bullies that is behind this. Like it or not, Andrew was elected leader of the Country and we have to respect that. I also a tax payer have no problem paying for the protection of our leader and his family protection while he is in office.

      Like 27
      Dislike 4
  2. Yes says:

    Mitch seems like he has matured in a major way. If he can stay on track he has a bright future. Slow and steady is the way Hon. Turnbull.

    Like 35
    Dislike 4
    • I will agree to that says:

      Yes, Mitch has evolve and matured a lot. Reguardless of what people say,he have a good heart, he means Well. What I like about Mitch is he is a wonderful father to that georgous mini him look alike.

      Like 18
      Dislike 4
  3. Tax Dollars says:

    don’t come from tax payers – they come from tourism and finance industry..

  4. Lilly says:

    Mitch has always been this way. He speaks for what he believes in regardless of which side he is on, and I certainly applaud him for that because he is adult enough to say when he thinks you are right or wrong, regardless of affiliation and that is exactly how adults are suppose to operate and at the end of the day there should be no animosity.

    Like 14
    Dislike 3
  5. Phil says:

    All premiers should have security to keep the goons off. That is the mistake others made, so people were always in their faces begging for favours (they were unable to fulfill) as well as money as opposed to a job.

    Like 6
    Dislike 3
  6. Just My 2 Cents says:

    I do embrace the Premier’s position and the support provided by Turnbull. Indeed, this should not be seen as an Andrew Fahie issue, but from the perspective of the Office of the Premier. I may question the need for ‘private’ rather that state sponsored security which is the norm. However, a transition is can be forthcoming in the near future.

    Secondly, the issue of the assignation threats must not be taken lightly. This is a matter of national security and must be investigated fully, and the instigators brought to justice.

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  7. IJS says:

    Nothing is wrong with the Premier having bodyguards but just do it. Don’t fabricate stories of threats to justify having the bodyguards.

    Like 21
    Dislike 7
  8. My only comment says:

    I do agree, Mitch has matured a lot. A couple of months ago he took a huge beating on the blogs from salty haters, instead of crumbling like they wanted, he held his head high and moved forward.

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  9. Quiet Warrior says:

    It is sad that the Premier or any other public servant needs personal security while performing his/her public duties. However, it may be a side effect of progress; progress brings the good, the bad and the ugly. Nonetheless, the need for personal security should not be a function of a position; personal security should be a function of credible, real and present threat(s) to the individual. The BVI is supposed to be a safe, free and secure locale; but it does seem to be so safe, free or secure.

    Moreover, some public spaces need access security. Access to spaces should be based on the need to be in that space. For example, an access system should be installed at the Central Admin Building and all employees assigned to the building should have an access card that allows them to enter spaces based on need. All persons(employees and customers) entering the building should undergo a security screening.

    Further, though the Premier may require personal security, it should not limit people access to him; he must remain accessible. In a conversation with a mature lady the other day, one thing that she lauded former Premier Ralph T. O’Neal for is that he would stop and have a conversation with you, not force you to call his executive assistant (Secretary is not PC) to schedule an appointment. Premier Fahie must remain accessible; he cannot govern in a fortress. It will be a balancing act.

  10. Doberman nose says:

    Why is this dude brown nosing

    Like 8
    Dislike 5
  11. The Hooded Claw says:

     “According to Turnbull, the said report underscored that the Office of the Premier ought to command respect”

    My question is, Didn’t Hon Turnbull feel that Premier Smith also deserved respect in the House Of Assembly when Mitch himself was the prime offender of Disrespectfullnesss? Or the position only commands respect germane to Security?

    HON Turnbull is trying to get back on Fahie’s good side to get access to the money and we understand that but we don’t believe you have matured since the oust Education Minister pulled you up for your lack of decorum to the Premier’s position. GTFOH

    Like 24
    Dislike 6
    • Weir D. Playne says:

      Respect should be earned. You shouldn’t blindly respect someone just because of a title. Hitler and Donald Trump and many others are proof that just because you are the leader of a country doesn’t mean that they should automatically be respected. Security isn’t really about respect so if Mitch said that he may have misspoken. Having security is more about the importance of the person and their role.

  12. Please says:

    Can you all please stop with the negativity already. No wonder the Country is so f**ked up. All you people do is tear each other down 24/7.

    Like 8
    Dislike 4
  13. Sad says:

    Seems sad that island society has deteriorated to the extent that we need to use violence, or threats thereof, instead of discourse to voice our differences.

  14. Lol says:

    Him and the rest of them on Facebook.

  15. CW says:

    The fact that this is considered a newsworthy issue shows the major problem with the people in BVI. Every elected leader in any reasonable society has protection as part of their official position. If you want BVI to he respected by other countries, territories, or UK, then basic standards of government MUST BE MAINTAINED. One of the basic tenants of government is to protect the executive. DUH STRUPES. All you need to do is try and think even just a little before you all type. To those claiming the need for security is hyped, or that threats are fake: I hope nobody ever threatens anybody you care about because you are trying to do your job. Better safe than sorry. Can you imagine the damage to BVI of anything bad became of elected officials? The UK would run over your territory on a moment.


Leave a Comment