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You are here: Homepage > Press Room > Previous Press Releases > Cabinet Shuffle -- Pierson to Become Speaker

Published 1st October 2003, 12:23pm

At a 2:30pm press conference today (Wednesday, 8 October) Mr. Linford Pierson announced he would not run for re-election in 2004. He also announced that he would resign from Cabinet and assume the position of Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. The current speaker, the Hon. Julianna O’Connor-Connolly, will take his place as a Cabinet minister.

The House will meet on Friday, 10 October, and the necessary elections will take place to fulfill the constitutional requirements.

The Hon. Gilbert McLean will take on Mr. Pierson’s role as Deputy Leader of Government Business. Mr. McLean will also trade a ministerial responsibility with Mrs. O’Connor-Connolly, allowing her to have District Administration and she will give him Works.

Mr. Pierson, Mrs. O’Connor-Connolly and Mr. McLean were present at the press conference, and all three answered questions. Mr. Pierson read a personal statement and one from the Leader of Government Business, the Hon. McKeeva Bush.

Citing personal reasons, Mr. Pierson said he has shared with his UDP colleagues “for quite sometime” his reluctance to tackle the rigors of another political campaign. He did say that he would remain an active UDP supporter and advisor.

Mr. Pierson will finish his term as the fourth elected member of the Legislative Assembly from George Town. He is currently minister for Planning, Communications, Works and Information Technology. Mr. McLean is currently minister for Health Services, Agriculture, Aviation and District Administration.

Following is the complete text of the statement issued by the Leader of Government Business, the Hon. McKeeva Bush:

“I fully support the legislative changes announced today by the Deputy Leader of Government Business, the Hon. Linford Pierson, OBE, JP. These changes were agreed at a United Democratic Party caucus meeting on Sunday, October 5, and agreed by the executive members of the party. I chaired that meeting, and caucus members unanimously agreed to the changes.

Although I am off island on official business, I felt it was important for the Deputy Leader, as well as Speaker of the House, the Hon. Julianna O’Connor-Connolly, JP, and the Minister of Health Services, Agriculture, Aviation and District Administration, the Hon. Gilbert McLean, to move ahead with the announcement today, so that government proceedings would continue smoothly. The government intends to effect these changes on Friday, 10 October 2003, at a meeting of the Legislative Assembly at 10:00 a.m. His Excellency the Governor is fully apprised of these changes and in turn, he has informed the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

I thank Mr. Pierson for his service not only as Deputy Leader, but also as Minister of Planning, Communications, Works and Information Technology. I am pleased that he will continue to serve the Cayman Islands as Speaker of the House. I also thank Mrs. O’Connor-Connolly for her acceptance of the Cabinet post; as a former minister, her knowledge will be invaluable to government and therefore, the country. Also, I welcome Mr. McLean as Deputy Leader of Government Business. He will bring years of political experience to the role, and like Mr. Pierson, he will discharge his new responsibilities with integrity.

To the country, I am confident that these changes in responsibilities will offer new opportunities for service to the Cayman Islands.”