The ROYAL Gazette 6/2/2010
Bermuda: The Progressive Labour Party (PLP) has used taxpayers’ money to sneak in a political consultant for the election under the guise of advising the Ministry of Tourism, the United Bermuda Party (UBP) has claimed.
It was reported last week that consultant Roy Boyke was being employed by Tourism Minister David Allen for on-Island communication, tourism awareness and “improving media relations”.
Although the UBP alleged in the House of Assembly last Wednesday that Mr. Boyke was working for the PLP, no one in Government took the opportunity to deny it.
Shadow Tourism Minister David Dodwell said last night that if the PLP would not come clean and admit it, Mr. Boyke should urge his “real employers” – the PLP – to tell the people of Bermuda that he was really working for a political party.
When Mr. Allen was asked outright last week if Mr. Boyke, a Trinidadian, was working for the PLP, he replied: “His relationship with the Tourism Ministry is for on-Island communications, tourism awareness and improving media relations.”
Speaking in the House of Assembly last Wednesday, Mr. Dodwell said Mr. Boyke was highly rated for the work he did for political parties in Trinidad, St. Lucia and the Bahamas.
“He has a terrific reputation in the Caribbean, but not as a tourism consultant. Ask anyone about Roy Boyke, and they don’t say he’s a tourism consultant. They say he is a political consultant,” said Mr. Dodwell.
“Was this in the Budget? If it was, it was hidden. I don’t believe that (tourism work) is what that gentleman is doing.
“I believe he is providing political advice to the PLP and to get the taxpayer to pay for that advice.
“I believe something smells in this arena and I believe this gentleman is a consultant for political reasons.”
The Royal Gazette tried to speak to Mr. Allen about Mr. Boyke’s appointment yesterday but the Minister’s personal assistant David Dumont referred questions to Director of Tourism Judith Hall Bean. Mrs. Hall Bean did not return calls.
Last night Mr. Dodwell said: “If the PLP Government is not going to come clean and tell the truth, then I would propose that Mr. Boyke should urge his real employers, the PLP, to tell the public what he is really doing here.
“Supposing that it might be true, which I don’t believe it is, that he is in the tourism business, surely we can find find able people on the Island to do this kind of work.
“This is a sham, and I am prepared to call it a sham, and call on the Government to stop trying to hoodwink the public again.
“The Premier, later in the House as she closed the debate, was given the chance to deny it (that Mr. Boyke was working for the PLP) but she chose not to deny it.” Mr. Dodwell asked why it was left to the media to uncover the story when Government should have made an announcement.
And he questioned why a foreigner was needed to do on-Island tourism promotion.
He said it made a mockery of the PLP’s claims to put Bermudians first.
A Tourism Department source told The Royal Gazette yesterday that Mr. Boyke was on the Island for about three weeks before Cup Match and that Tourism staff were puzzled because they had no idea who he was.
Staff were also bemused, said the source, because Mr. Boyke was not introduced to anyone except a few key employees nor was his appointment publicised.
And unlike other consultants, Mr. Boyke was not involved in working with office staff.
“He left just before Cup Match and he was here for about three weeks,” said the source.
“Staff were wanting to know who this man was who was walking around the office and they were told he’s the Minister’s consultant and he has the right to walk around the office.
“No one below the top realm knew who he was. The regular staff didn’t know who he was because he was never introduced.
“I think they were a bit irritated that he was in the office for some time and no one knew who he was or what he was doing.
“He is dealing exclusively with the Minister. When asked what he was here to do, it was to listen. It is very strange. No one has seen it done like that before. Most consultants come in and work with the staff but this one doesn’t.
“I’m told he was guaranteed $6,000 a month, but I’m not sure what that works out an hour. Then there will be the hotel and airfare on top of that.”