Cathy is elected Deputy Speaker

Cathy Hopkins has been elected as Deputy Speaker of St Helena’s new Legislative Council. She immediately took over the conduct of the inaugural meeting of the new council in the absence of the Speaker, Eric Benjamin, who had been receiving medical treatment in Cape Town. She told councillors: “Being a member of legislative council brings […]

Secrecy critics form new Executive Council

The five politicians who polled most votes in the 2013 St Helena general election have been named as the island’s new executive councillors. Each will chair one of the five main committees of the government. They are: Lawson Henry (Economic Development Committee), Christine Scipio o’Dean (Education), Cyril George (Environment and Natural Resources), Ian Rummery (Health […]

Fight looms over secrecy oath that blocks human right (updated)

Update: Councillors have all now sworn the oath of confidentiality that prevents them revealing any information about St Helena Government. A new story will be published later today, following the inaugural session of the new legislative council. St Helena’s new councillors are being placed under pressure to swear a vow of secrecy that goes against […]

Open government is not islands’ top priority, says minister

Freedom of information is not a top priority for overstretched governments in the British overseas territories, MPs in London have been told. Foreign Minister Mark Simmonds also admitted that no territories had been given UK support to end the kind of secretive practices seen on St Helena.  That could change if new councillors act on a […]

UK’s top lawyer could help end St Helena secrecy

Britain’s Attorney General could be asked to help St Helena and other UK overseas territories draw up laws on freedom of information. Dr Peter Hayes, the diplomat in charge of overseas territories, raised the possibility during a committee hearing in Westminster. But he also referred to a set of rights, drawn up by the United […]

20 candidates bid for a part in St Helena’s future

Twenty candidates are to fight for the 12 seats in the 2013 St Helena general election. They are: Leslie Paul Baldwin of Half Tree Hollow Audrey Mavis Constantine of Maldivia, Jamestown Nigel Dollery of Pleasant View Cottage, New Ground Wilson Charles Duncan of Old Millsite, Longwood Gavin George Ellick of New Ground Cyril Robert George of Clifton Cottage, Sapper Way Stedson Robert […]

London dismisses election protest against Governor Capes

A formal protest has been sent to Foreign Secretary William Hague over the “unpleasant” way that Governor Mark Capes dismissed elected councillors without warning. But a response from overseas territories chief Peter Hayes has claimed that Mr Capes gave “justified reasons” for removing councillors from office. In fact, those reasons only explained the decision to […]

Stedson attempts to revive party politics on St Helena

An attempt is being made to introduce party politics to St Helena for the first time in four decades. Stedson George has announced the launch of the St Helena Democratic Socialist Party. It follows a separate announcement by would-be councillors Lawson Henry and Ian Rummery that they would campaign together in the 2013 general election […]