Cayman’s 14th Governor was settling into his new role on Tuesday (30 October) and the first item on the day’s agenda was a meeting with Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin.
On Monday (29 October), Mr. McLaughlin spoke during Martyn Roper’s swearing-in ceremony, outlining what he would like their relationship to be.
It was a busy first day for the new Governor, with a swearing-in ceremony full of pomp and circumstance.
He was officially welcomed to his new role by Premier McLaughlin at the Legislative Assembly, where Mr. McLaughlin wasted no time in signposting the difficulties ahead for Mr. Roper.
“I fully understand the challenges of walking that line between your responsibility as a representative of the Queen and appointee of the FCO and your role as Governor,” Mr. McLaughlin told the Governor.
The Premier also highlighted some of the areas of contention he anticipated ahead, including constitutional overreach and gay marriage.
“Gay marriages and rights of same-sex couples, which is one matter currently in the courts, and the ongoing dialogue and debate and, if I’m frank, the pressure from the UK government for the Cayman Islands and other territories to accede to their thrust for these islands to validate such relationships,” Mr. McLaughlin listed as chief among the expected thorny issues.
Mr. Roper acknowledged those sensitivities, hinting at the stance he would be taking on behalf of the UK:
“Compliance with international human rights obligations including the right to equality for all Cayman Islanders is an integral part [of good governance],” the Governor stated.
Mr. McLaughlin advised Mr. Roper that he had outlasted six governors prior to the incumbent.
“In time to come, I hope that I, or those who follow me, can include you in the relatively short list of good governors,” the Premier said.
He did, however, praise the Governor for initiating video contact prior to his arrival on the island.
He also made sure to highlight one area upon which both men were already in agreement.
“In my view, any man that likes bicycles and books, has a head start in my estimation,” Mr. McLaughlin told Mr. Roper with a smile.
Mr. Roper will be holding his first news conference as Governor this Thursday (1 November).