BVI News

UPDATE: Turnbull’s reason for ‘switching sides’

Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull

Second District Representative Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull has every intention of continuing to serve his constituents and the rest of the territory, he just refuses to continue doing so under the National Democratic Party (NDP) government who he said has become largely ignoble and of a double standard.

The first-term legislator gave that indication while speaking with BVI News after his letter of resignation to the Speaker of the House of Assembly on Thursday.

“I want to make this absolutely clear for the persons that I represent [that] my resignation is only for the Speaker. The words in the letter were for ‘the Speaker and her good office to make arrangements that I will no longer sit on the government side within the House of Assembly’. I will still be their representative, it just means that I am sitting on the opposition side,” Turnbull said.

His decision to switch sides comes after the firing of Archibald Christian as Junior Minister of Tourism.

Christian’s firing didn’t help

When asked whether that termination prompted his decision to move, Turnbull said: “I wouldn’t say it prompted it but it didn’t make it any better.”

And according to the young legislator, Christian’s case is a perfect example of the double standard he said exists within the NDP.

“He (Christian) has been a member of parliament longer than I have, he has been in service longer than I have. But, you have a man who is representing the people who’s been speaking out, been doing his best and he resigned from the party. And, with the snap of a finger, actions are taken. But when it comes to other things and other people, when you ask for action to be taken you get haphazard responses and anything basically goes. So, if that’s the way that this government is going to continue, I will not be a part of it.”

Turnbull refused to name the NDP members who he branded as having double standards, only stating: “A guilty conscience needs no accusers so who the hat fits, let them wear it.”

He, however, argued that the NDP’s leadership is responsible for the faults of the party.

Not a sore loser

In the meantime, Turnbull confirmed that his alliance is now with the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) — the breakaway political party supposedly to be led by Health Minister, Ronnie Skelton.

Unlike NDP defectors Turnbull and Christian, the leader they are reportedly supporting — Skelton — still sits comfortably on the side of the NDP government.

News of PVIM had surfaced after the NDP internal elections which saw both Turnbull and Skelton emerge as losers in their bid to become Deputy Chairman and party Chairman, respectively.

When questioned about claims that his resignation was merely an indication of being a sore loser, Turnbull said: “I understand the spin and I understand those who would try to make it about being sore losers. But, when June 23rd (the date of internal elections) happened, that was the end of it.”

He continued: “Truth be told, I’ve had meetings with the current Chairman (Myron Walwyn), I’ve had meetings with the [party’s] Deputy Chair (Marlon Penn) as well to try to clear the air and understand what the position would be for this new government going on because there were issues that existed prior to me becoming a member of the NDP and the government. There are issues that have existed since and nothing has been addressed and nothing has been corrected.”

Previously published article

Second District Representative Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull has resigned from the Government aisle of the House of Assembly, BVI News understands.

It is understood that he tendered his resignation to the Speaker of House of Assembly on Thursday, November 16.

His resignation follows At-Large Representative Archibald Christian’s sacking as Junior Minister of Tourism.

Christian was fired at the recommendation of government leader, Premier Dr D Orlando Smith after he resigned from the National Democratic Party — the banner under which he was elected four years ago.

BVI News will provide more information as this story develops.

Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

60 Comments

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  1. Reply says:

    No surprise here either. It’s about time he tendered his resignation also and go where he felt more comfortable.

    IMO, he was not a good fit for the NDP. As a first time legislator he made a few critical unforced errors, among them declaring publicly that the Premier should not be the Minister of Finance; rather that Mr Skelton deserves that portfolio. The nerve. That’s not the way to do things.

    Likewise, accusing his own government publicly of neglecting to assist his district with it’s clean up post hurricanes.

    While he is not a “lil boy” as he asserts, and was duly elected, he sure was not acting like a grown up to me.

    The way he addressed those two issues is not how a wise grown up should act. There is a way to do things, and then there is Mr. Turnbul’s way of doing things which got him no where.

    If you are a newcomer to an organization, I believe it is prudent to respect the heiracy of that organization and show some deference and respect to those who lead it, and were there before you arrived.

    You will achieve more and get more done when you do that, but publicly trashing your leadership or subverting their authority is not the way to go. It’s bullheaded, and something a teenager would do.

    In light of all that is occurring now within the NDP, it now makes sense to me why the Deputy Premier was quoted as saying “Let him speak” when Mr. Thurnbull was being criticized for his public pronouncements. Apparently, they were all holding the same head.

    Message to Mr. Thurnbul: It does not matter which party you migrate to. Show some respect and deference to it’s leaders, work and express any issues of disagreement behind the scenes quietly, rather than making them public. Don’t create enemies just because you were elected too.

    The people who were cheering you on to behave this way were using you to achieve their own goals…seed discord in your own party, and you fell for it.

    You have a lot to learn about life and governing, and how to approach getting things done. Being a loud mouth, and thinking you can and will say whatever you want is not the best/wise approach.

    In politics, you have to lean to build a coalition to achieve goals. Short of that, you are just making it difficult for yourself to get things done for the people you were elected to serve.

    There is something called humility, and I can tell you that no matter who you believe you are ,in this life, humility will always get you more mileage in whatever you wish to achieve. Think twice before you speak, because once you do, you cannot take it back.

    The only question now is when are the others going to tender their resignations?

    Like 86
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    • Dr. says:

      Say all you want to say about the Dr. I agree he made some serious blunders but did not deserve the disrespect. Nothing but a rude child…I pray a strong and good candidate toss their hat in the race to replace this F**L!

      Like 43
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    • To reply says:

      Congratulations well written. This is the best piece of blog I have seen. Continue to write to educate us. Representatives and prospective and also the bloggers take a page from reply.
      This is what we need. Discipline in our homes, churches, schools and work and my beloved country will be a better day like place.

      Like 42
    • Wow says:

      Indeed, very well said. I hope this young upstart comes to this page and reads and really ponders upon and takes your comments to heart. You have given him good food for thought. Bravo! Just wise and important counsel. I really hope he sees it.

      Like 25
      Dislike 1
    • Aseop says:

      A wise man swims away from a sinking ship.

      He obviously doesn’t want to be associated with his party’s fiscal mismanagement including the “mismanaged wall” and the $7.2m airline investment.

      Perhaps he is aware of what we are going to also see in the annual audits that have for years been delayed.

      Like 7
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      • Oh says:

        He swam away from the wall and right into the west end smoke and trashy streets? Riiight!

        Like 10
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      • Wes says:

        Something has to be coming down the pipe causing all this scattering. While it could be their zeal to separate from MVW I think there is more in the mortar than just the pestle.

        We have the Wall Audit, Peer park Audit, and Audited Government Financials on the way….that 7.2 mill aint going anywhere.

        Our Auditor General has not been pulling punches of late I suppose at the behest of the UK Government.

        I suspect soon many chickens will be home to roost and are a direct cause of this abandonment of ship and captain.

    • Reply says:

      Thank to all who took the time to read my blog post, agree or disagree. Special thanks to all who agrees with my assessment, and have provided their responses below. Appreciated.

      Like 17
      Dislike 1
    • Spell Check Police says:

      Hierarchy

    • Shakespear says:

      It’s all about the 7.2.
      If u don’t tink so, you ain’t got a clue.
      It’s all about no audit.
      Those that continue to follow have bought it.

    • Sideline says:

      Well written blog. I agree 100%.

    • Anonymous says:

      I expected this response from someone because it is just the way of BVI thinking to put politics and self entitlement in the place of doing what is right. I may not agree with everything Mr. Turnbull does but why is a man standing up against what is clearly wrong and clearly wrong for years a problem? Why is standing up to a leader who has shown, by ACTIONS, that he cares very little for the people that he is supposed to represent?

      We’ve all thought it. You walk through the streets and all you hear are people complaining about the Premier, constantly bashing his leadership, the way he has handled the finance portfolio, and his lack of overall transparency. Does that sound like a person who should continually get the “respect” of the people of the territory when it’s obvious that he doesn’t respect you enough to be up front and honest with you?

      I guess it would have been better if Mr. Turnbull adopted the old ways of thinking, to take your abuse and neglect in silence until finally after years and irreversible damage you finally have the courage to speak up for yourself. You may not agree with the man but at least appreciate the fact that he has a spine. People have been complaining about the government for years but yet somehow delude themselves to think that silence solves all.

      As a leader if you want respect earn it. You don’t respect someone just because of a title they hold, they have to continuously show that they deserve that respect.

      Like 3
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    • BuzzBvi says:

      His duty and respect should not go to his leaders but to those that voted for him.
      This is what is wrong.
      Too much towing the line for the party when it is wrong for the people that elected you.
      more disrepect is needed where disrespect is due.
      Work for the people. Not the best interests of a party filling its pockets.

      • Reply says:

        In politics, no man is an island. Mr. Thurnbull had no power on his own to achieve his agenda. In order to get anything done, he would have had to get others to work with him.

        How smart is it to disrespect the very people that you need to help you move your agenda? Not smart.

        Disrespecting the colleagues he needed to get things done is simply stupid. Consequently, he walked away with nothing, and the people who elected him got nothing as well.

        You have to be diplomatic in your approach to governing. You cannot disrespect those who can make or break your agenda and in the same breath expect something to happen.

        Sorry, bullying does not work in politics. Diplomacy does.

  2. Political Observer (PO) says:

    Is London Bridge falling down? Is the House divided? At this departure rate, pretty soon the NDP may not command a majority in the HOA. To form or maintain a government, a government needs the support of at least 7 of 13 elected members. 16 April 2019 is too far out; dissolve the HOA and set an election now. The electorate is thirsty and hungry to get to the polls to quench its thirst and quell its hunger pain for change. Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the territory, requiring a strong, united and stable government to lead the recovery. Who is next to go? Ronnie, Kedrick, Hubert, Alvera, Walwyn, Mark, Marlon——-Doc is the head and D-5 is vacant. Therefore, any more defections could spell trouble in the HOA.

    Like 14
    • Not so fast.. says:

      The NDP still has 6 on their side plus the vote of the Speaker if a tie-breaker is needed. Further, Skelton and Pickering are more seasoned than their compatriots it seems but either way even if they go, NDP will have 6 and add the Speaker’s vote for a tie-breaker and they have 7. Will anybody else in the NDP cross after the usual suspects? We shall see.

      Like 6
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      • PO says:

        I could be wrong. But in order to form a government, a party leader has to prove to the governor that he/she has the support of 6 other elected members.

      • @Not so fast says:

        This is not the USA. The Speaker the House has no vote. She is an appointed member of the HOA and not an elected member. So a 6-6 is a minority Government and if the opposition wants it can tie up every decision and force an election sooner. Dr. Smith knows exactly why he doesn’t want to fire Ronnie.

  3. Lieutenant says:

    I wonder what this rookie politician wants. He don’t even have any stripes in the game. Why don’t he behave himself and do as he is told until he has earned a few stripes.

    Like 43
    Dislike 19
    • Makana says:

      Exactly!!! The burning question I have is this, he says he has had problems with the party from a long time ago which we must agree with based on his behavior in HOA. If you look deeper at ‘when’ this behavior started in HOA then you would figure out what’s really happening but I won’t give it away just yet. The party was so much in shambles that he was willing to contest the leadership election to head the same party and when that failed, trying to form a separate entity. I do not support any particular party and will follow the campaigns before making my final decision but this is not looking good for the NDP defectors. Right now it’s looking like the VIP are the ones worth voting for but we will see. Regardless of what happens I think Turnbull and friends will realize that they made the biggest mistake of their political careers.

      Like 42
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    • Honestly says:

      The egotistical, rude cocky rookie wanted to step in and run things. Now that he has vacated the seat that made him look uncomfortable and lost in translation, he can retreat to his playpen with a glass of warm milk and a copy of CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE TEENAGER SOUL.

      Like 13
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  4. Second District Vote says:

    He cannot wait until he get elevated… senior pushing the buttons… why don’t he focus on his preaching and keep out of politics and pray for the Government, that what we are call to do pray for our leaders.

    I am so happy I NEVER VOTED for you.

    Like 41
    Dislike 8
  5. Huu says:

    Make sure we don’t vote for this child again. He got some growing up to do

    Like 39
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  6. Smithy says:

    A rude awakening awaits!

    Like 24
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  7. I said it says:

    Another little boy trying to wear big man’s pants. Man you are not so ready for the major leagues.

    Like 33
    Dislike 2
  8. Sick says:

    Who cares what the reason is. Why are they always explaining and explaining and explaining. We know the real reason is that you lost the election and you cannot stomach the fact that Myron is the leader. Take your time youngster because on the current path you will run into some serious problems. I am in my 50s and have seen a lot in politics and otherwise, please do not become a statistic.

    Like 29
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  9. See YA says:

    Keep it moving Man.You are done in the game.

    Like 25
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  10. Dude says:

    This dude is an amateur politician but he is going on like he is a seasoned professional politician. As a newbie he should be trying to build strong alliances and learning all the ropes. But instead he is making foes and talking about crossing floor.

    He is a big disappointment, if you ask me.

    Like 33
    Dislike 1
  11. Double standard says:

    Well when you have the leader of your PVIM party still sitting on the government side, you got to ask yourself a question Mitch… Tis who got double standards? You all committing political suicide for a leader of an opposing party who still sits comfortably on government side. Don’t talk… THINK!!

    Like 25
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  12. Outsider insider says:

    This young man seemed to be destined for political suicide from the get go. Now him and others are aligning themselves with a party with declared members but no declared leader to lead the country. Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.

    Like 25
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  13. Sam the man says:

    Agree with most of the comments here relieved to see that most are not fooled by this amateur playing politics – I always thought he was just talk and way out of his depth. He is a sore loser if the NDP were that bad why did he join them and after a short time run for the position of deputy? Too headstrong to learn and has just followed his brother like a sheep, totally vision less and is his short unsuccessful spell in politics has achieved very little of note, in fact can’t think of anything apart from critising his peers and constantly complaining – much too negative and doom and gloom for me. He is in the wrong career…..

    Like 12
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  14. Zits says:

    isnt he still popping pimples?

    Like 11
    Dislike 4
  15. Bye Mitch!!!! says:

    It’s about time, we don’t need incapable representatives.

    Like 17
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  16. He is immature says:

    Force ripe. Power hungry. ill advised young man. He has his normal tantrums and his leader Ronnie sits there and does nothing because he has the little minions like Archie and him doing the things he is afraid to do. They are on the opposition while he is still a minister getting his big money per month. Some leader he is. I listened to Mitch as he paid tribute to Hon. christopher. It was shameful in my opinion. He used that tribute to advance some political vendatta that he has which in my opinion was most inappropriate. Not even enough sense and respect to pay a proper tribute to the dead. This young man really doesn’t know when and where. Very childish and he wanted to be deputy premier of our country. He must think that this is dolly house.

    Like 20
  17. Lordie says:

    These S—-m and G——h Bloggers for tall boy bald head need to go tek a dump. Don’t think by blogging here you all will be on top.

    Minister of —- is a crook and we know it. Your manipulation will not give you votes.

    Watch and see.

    Like 3
    Dislike 11
    • Lordo says:

      So where are your bloggers? Uou lost NDP election so it means Myron rigged the votees list. The blogs are against you sl it means it must be a ploy by Myron. You seem to have the characteristics of a sociopath and a very sick individual.

  18. Listener says:

    Seems as though this dude cant think for himself, very very unfortunate.

    Like 14
    Dislike 3
  19. Truth says:

    Ronnie and Myron calm down. For the NDP to win both of you have to hold. Point blank if not, welcome aboard Andrew and Pickering.

    Like 2
    Dislike 3
  20. Just asking says:

    Do Pastors make good politicians?

    Like 2
    Dislike 3
  21. Change says:

    You can not serve two masters. Even if he has a fault I do not believe he was comfortable under NDP but as the election day draws near we will see who are the green snakes that has been hiding in the green grass and stealing from the people because there is too much corruption in the system that needs serious investigation. Very soon there will be no green grass for the green snakes to hide.

  22. Serious says:

    People of the b.vi.Our God is alowing what ever changes to happen please alow him to do his JOB its about time.

    Like 1
    Dislike 7
  23. d2 says:

    I actually respect the reason he provided here. It’s the problem we all have with this government. Actions that are obvious and urgent never get taken, yet all kinds of other projects are up and running in no time.

    Like 4
    Dislike 8
  24. Bees hive says:

    He slighter out the building like grease lightning because he knew the Bently was on the way to drive him on the drive of shame towards the curb. LOL, the kid is done in the grown up game.

    Like 11
    Dislike 1
  25. Mitch Da Switchin Snitch says:

    Mitch….ya snitch…..ya switch…..life is a bi$#@

  26. Next!!!!! says:

    Ronnie is the next one that should be escorted out the door for the ride to the curb. SECURITYYYY.

    Like 10
    Dislike 1
  27. Tell all D2 says:

    So wait, we are bawling because a public official is making a public statement about the people’s business? These people are making decisions about your lives while you sleep. Give me a break. We want transparency and cannot handle it. We still have that slave mentality. Keep your head down, don’t speak, just shake your head. It is sad that we, as a people, cannot look beyond what we can see…think about it. Continue to show your “respect and deference” to the RDA, political elites, BVI Airways, UK overseers, European Union (blacklist), land grabbers etc etc. Trust me, reading the blogs, they are enjoying how we keeping ourselves in “check.” While our efforts are focus over there at the shiny object, they are quietly taking over, thanks to your “respect and deference”. They said thank you.

    Like 4
    Dislike 3
    • Ok Mikey says:

      Thanks.

      Like 2
      Dislike 2
    • Eyes to see and ears to hear says:

      I guess his sneaky deal counts for transparency in your eyes. Say what you want we need the right people to run the government. He my friend is not the one, so go ahead and do your damage control. In my eyes he can’t be trusted. He is part of the problem.

  28. Ausar says:

    Mitch, you’ve just committed political suicide. Those actions were unwarranted and will lead to ostracization within your district and perhaps any future political aspirations.

    As a newbie, I expected that you would have ridden out the “storm”,and become the continued representative of your district.

    Now, all of that is in limbo suggesting absolute failure and defeat.

    Never follow the crowd!

    Always be the odd man out!

    Like 10
    • O says:

      And lose himself in the process yo say! Let’s wait for all the sides. For your thought: always remember that the ruler and judge of us all sits in the highest place.

  29. Brad Boynes says:

    Some people cannot handle the truth..move on Mitch.

  30. Funny says:

    M and A give up a good Chateau Lafrte for a can of grape soda.

  31. ????? says:

    Mann, you were played. Do you really think anyone would want a rude, egotistical child that is always throwing tantrums on their team M…h?You are to much of a liability for the team. You should have stayed where you were. Political Suicide.

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