In a surprise move as part of an ongoing reshuffle of his Cabinet by British Prime Minister David Cameron, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office minister with responsibility for the Turks and Caicos Islands and Britain’s other overseas territories, Henry Bellingham, is leaving his post.
No replacement has yet been announced.
Bellingham declined to say whether he had been offered an alternative ministerial position, but did say he hoped it was not the end of his career in government.
He was first appointed to the Foreign Office in 2010 and has been a Conservative frontbencher for the past 10 years.
“I’ve had ten years as a front bencher and I’m really happy that I got to do the Foreign Office job for more than two years and travelled across 61 countries in that time,” Bellingham said.
One of the more troublesome issues Bellingham had to deal with during his term of office has been the return to elected ministerial self-government in the TCI following the partial suspension of the constitution and imposition of direct rule by Britain in 2009. Parliamentary elections are now set to resume here on November 9.