Foreign and Commonwealth office

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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Tristan shipwreck disaster report due ‘shortly’

A report on the cause of the shipwreck that sparked an environmental disaster for Tristan da Cunha is expected shortly, according to a senior official of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. St Helena Online had received a complaint about secrecy surrounding the grounding of the MS Oliva on Nightingale Island, leading to a fuel …

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Officials to face court over leaked Chagos ‘ploy’

An alleged ploy to stop people of the Chagos Islands returning to their homes in the British overseas territory can be tested in court, the UK’s Independent newspaper reports. It says a judge has ordered that two senior government officials must face cross-examination over a secret US document that appeared on the WikiLeaks website. It …

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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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UK White Paper seeks stronger bond with Overseas Territories

The UK government says a new strategy paper “renews and strengthens Britain’s relationship with the Overseas Territories.”   However, much of the material in the paper – which runs to over 100 pages, and was due out last month – will already be familiar to people who follow affairs in Britain’s far-flung islands. For instance, …

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