Second District Representative Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull has categorically said he never asked to join the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) nor has he ever requested any ministerial position under a VIP government.
The first-term legislator made that assertion a few short hours after claims from Andrew Fahie that Turnbull asked to become Deputy Premier if/when the VIP was elected as the next government.
Responding to the claim, Turnbull said Fahie was actually the one who pursued him to join the party. He said Fahie told him that he (Turnbull) would bring ‘strength’ to the VIP.
“I did not ask for any ministerial position nor did I ask to be ‘Deputy’. He offered them to me. He (Fahie) said to me, and I quote: ‘You can have any ministry you want except finance because I have to manage the books’. That is the truth. The statements made by Honourable Fahie in his press conference a few hours earlier is a complete and utter lie,” Turnbull said in a post on social media.
“The member and Leader of Opposition, Andrew Fahie, taking this opportunity to tell such a lie is the very reason why it was absolutely difficult for me to even consider joining him — because there is untruth. He is not trustworthy and he continues to say and do whatever it takes for him to get power.”
How discussions to join VIP began
While providing context on how discussions to possibly join the VIP arose, Turnbull said Fahie approached him after he (Turnbull) spoke out against Premier Dr D Orlando Smith, last December.
At the time, Turnbull — who recently broke away from the governing NDP to help form the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) — said the finance portfolio, which Premier Smith holds, should be given to Ronnie Skelton. Skelton is now the leader of the PVIM.
The young legislator also noted that the Fahie-led VIP was not the only group or individual that sought him out, since then.
“They (political suitors) were wanting me and offering me ministerial positions and telling me what they can do for me and my family. But let me show you this, Virgin Islands community: I did not get into politics for power, I got into politics to serve. That represents my life. That represents who I am,” Turnbull said.
Below is a video extract from Turnbull’s statement on social media.
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