Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
As the National Democratic Party’s (NDP) internal struggles continue to play out in public, a second elected representative has walked.
Hon. Melvin Mitch Turnbull, Second District Representative and backbencher, has resigned from government, BVI Platinum News understands.
Information reaching BVI Platinum News is that Turnbull tendered his resignation through the House of Assembly on Thursday, November 15, hours after his colleague Hon. Archibald Christian, At Large Representative, was stripped from the post of Junior Minister of Tourism. Hon. Christian was the first elected representative of the NDP to resigned from the party.
Information is that Hon. Turnbull will be a candidate in the Second District under Health Minister, Hon. Ronnie Skelton’s new party, the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM).
Hon. Skelton, an At Large Representative and founding member of NDP, is yet to resign.
Premier and Finance Minister, Hon. Dr. D. Orlando Smith has since told BVI Platinum News that he had Hon. Christian fired because if one resigns from the party, they resign from government. He said that he expects Hon. Christian to be sitting on the opposite side of the House.
With Hon. Turnbull’s resignation, he too will be sitting on the opposite side of the House.
As reported earlier, the string of resignations can put the NDP as a minority government in the House, as BVI Platinum News understands that Hon. Dr. Kedrick Pickering, Deputy Premier and Seventh District Representative is also said to be parting ways with the NDP and will be backing Hon. Skelton. He is currently off island.
Following the 2017 hurricanes, Hon. Turnbull, who was first elected to office in 2011, had publicly slammed the government for rushing to recover and questioned Premier Smith's ability to handle the Finance portfolio. He had suggested that Hon. Skelton, who once served as Finance Minister, be handed that portfolio.
General Election due date has now been pushed forward to April 2019.