Governor Martyn Roper was officially sworn in to his new post at the Legislative Assembly on Monday (29 October.)
The official ceremony took place at 3 p.m. and was attended by members of the Cabinet, Opposition and the general public. It also marked Governor Roper’s first address to the nation.
During his speech, Mr. Roper did not shy away from any of the more controversial aspects of his appointment; he alluded to Mr. Choudhury’s removal from office, but gave no further details surrounding the FCO investigation.
He also hinted at the controversy surrounding the gay rights case currently going through the Cayman courts, when he promised “equality for all Cayman Islanders.”
Most tellingly, he addressed the state of the current relationship between the UK and Cayman, in particular in reference to beneficial ownership.
“Beneficial ownership has been a difficult area in the UK’s relationship with the Cayman Islands for some time,” Mr. Roper said, adding: “I recognise the concern caused by the passing in the UK of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act.”
Mr. Roper also announced two new initiatives. Firstly, a collaboration between the Governor’s office and the Cayman Islands’ Crisis Centre to launch a new Childline and the second, which would strengthen the RCIPS Air Operations Unit.
“The UK and Cayman Islands are now discussing the potential for a joint project to purchase and operate a second helicopter. If approved, this would not only be used to provide greater resilience to the Cayman Islands but also support vital operations for disaster relief and law enforcement in the other Overseas Territories,” Mr. Roper revealed.
The new Governor also gave some hints at the style he will be adopting as Governor, promising more use of social media to increase transparency of the office.
Mr. Roper promised to be “accessible, straight-forward, open and willing to listen.”