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Premier and Governor lay out priorities

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).

About the author

Caroline James

Caroline James

Caroline joined Cayman 27 in September 2018 after seven years working for Sky News in London, both as a Producer on the World News programme and, latterly, as News Editor on the Foreign Desk, where she led coverage on the ground of stories as diverse as the 2016 US Election, corruption allegations surrounding FIFA and The Oscars. Before this, she worked as a Producer for Associated Press Television News (APTN) for two years, based in their London headquarters. Caroline graduated with a BA Hons degree in Arabic, French and German from Durham University, before gaining an MA in Television Journalism with distinction at City University, London. When not hunting down stories in Cayman, she can be found playing tennis, practicing Bikram yoga or enjoying a beer on Seven Mile Beach. You can reach Caroline at or 326-2243.

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