FCO

Judge offers comfort over tales of power and abuse – but says No to London jobs hearing for whistle-blowers

A judge has spoken of “disturbing” claims made about sex abuse on St Helena and the way the island is governed – after ruling he could not hear a case brought by social workers. Claire Gannon and Martin Warsama claimed they suffered unfair treatment because they were whistle-blowers who exposed failures to investigate abuse properly. …

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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 …

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St Helena is ‘lucky’ to have Governor Capes, says top official

St Helena’s governor, Mark Capes, has been given public praise by his boss at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. Dr Martin Longden also described islanders as “industrious, intelligent and innovative people”, at the end of an eight-day visit. He visited the island in his roles a Deputy Director at the FCO, and the …

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Islands minister leaves job to fight local burning issue

Henry Bellingham MP has lost his job as Foreign Office minister responsible for Britain’s overseas territories, including St Helena. His replacement was not immediately named. An email to St Helena Online says: “The annoying ‘London Reader’ revealed in a world exclusive to The St Helena Independent several weeks ago that Bellingham would soon be replaced. …

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UK offers to help reduce offenders’ risk to island society

St Helena and other Overseas Territories are being offered help to deal with criminals who need specialist treatment to manage their behaviour – including sex offenders. The UK government’s White Paper says smaller territories often lack facilities to treat people who need such help, though it does not say whether this is the case for …

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‘What’s being done to raise standards?’ asks White Paper critic

The UK’s White Paper on Overseas Territories has failed to set out how the British government will help St Helena reach higher standards, according to one critic. In a letter to the St Helena Independent, “London Reader” says: “The White Paper shows that the UK Government is not interested in helping St Helena introduce cost-effective, …

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‘Transparency and scrutiny lead to public trust’ – White Paper

Proper scrutiny is vital to good government, says the UK’s 2012 White Paper on the country’s Overseas Territories. “This important work helps strengthen the people’s trust in government,” it says, “and encourages greater public participation in decision making.” It also sets out a list of seven principles of public life that are now followed in …

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White Paper sets out need for openness in government

St Helena and other far-flung British islands may “have proud traditions of democracy,” but the UK government says it will keep a close watch on standards of governance. “Public concerns about capacity, transparency and corruption need to be addressed,” says the 2012 White Paper on Overseas Territories. This comment refers mainly to problems in the …

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