As part of efforts to modernise the House of Assembly, a Virgin Islands delegation travelled to London to meet with some of their counterparts in the United Kingdom Parliament.

Speaker of the House Corine George-Massicote, who led the delegation, kicked off the dialogue with an initial meeting with UK House Speaker Lindsay Hoyle, according to the HOA.

That meeting was followed by further discussions hosted at the UK House of Commons on parliamentary affairs, governance, and interparliamentary cooperation.

Besides Ms. George-Massicote, the VI delegation also included Communications and Works Minister Kye Rymer (R-D5); Opposition Leader Ronnie Skelton (R-at large); Attorney General Dawn Smith; and opposition members Julian Fraser (R-D3) and Marlon Penn (R-D8).

Additionally, the group was accompanied by HOA Clerk Phyllis Evans; HOA Public Relations Officer Linton Leonard; and BVI London Office acting Director Tracy Bradshaw.

Strengthening ties

During the trip, the delegates worked to strengthen ties with their UK counterparts, enhance collaboration, exchange best practices, and promote mutual understanding in various parliamentary matters, according to the HOA.

The meetings covered various topics:

• reforming the HOA’s Standing Orders to meet the body’s evolving needs;
• using technology to improve transparency, accessibility and efficiency;
• understanding the important role of bill committees in scrutinising legislation and facilitating deliberations on proposed laws;
• the Interparliamentary Standards Authority and its significance in maintaining parliamentary integrity and good governance; and
• the role of the UK’s Governance Office in promoting transparency, accountability, and good governance within the parliamentary framework; among others.

The insights gained from the meeting will be put to use starting in the current House, according to the HOA.