11 June, 2009


Chris Bryant is in. We have not heard much about Chris Bryant before 8 June. He was once a popular parish priest and preacher in his village in Wales. He could talk so good he decided to leave the church and go into politics. He won a seat in the UK Parliament with the help of Tony Blair.

What is his relevance to Anguilla? He is a newly appointed Foreign Office Minister in Gordon Brown’s latest Cabinet reshuffle of 8 June. He is also Deputy Leader of the House of Commons. He is being rewarded for backing of Mr Brown in his confrontation with Labour parliamentarians who want him to step down as PM. This appointment to the Foreign Office is not exactly that of Foreign Secretary. It is a junior government post. Ministers of State in Britain have under secretaries and junior ministers to assist them. He will be an assistant minister to Foreign Secretary David Miliband. He may have responsibility for Anguilla and the British Overseas Territories. In that case, he is one of the ministers in the UK government we will have to deal with.

Chris Bryant MP

There have been so many recent changes in the Foreign Office that I have got lost. I remember welcoming Gillian Merron just a few posts ago. Now, I see that she is no longer Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Foreign Office. PM Brown has promoted her and made her his new Minister of State for Public Health.

What got my attention was Mr Bryant’s nickname in the British Press, Captain Underpants. No, not the American children’s comic book. It turns out that the new Deputy Leader of the Commons was in the news six years ago for a less than ennobling reason. He was discovered sending photos of himself in his underpants to a man he had just met on an internet dating service. Not the sort of person you would have thought an embattled Prime Minister would be proud to be rewarding with such high office.

Chris Bryant MP looking for a date

You have to ask yourself the question, what will some men in politics not do for a little bit of extra sex?

Do you suppose that he would receive a rousing welcome if he came to visit Anguilla?

Would we roll out the pink carpet for him?

He had better hurry. I don’t think he will be minister for much longer.


  1. It's good to see that the usually fundamentalist "Christian" far right anguillalife.com has announced the appointment of the new Minister without stooping to mention his sexual orientation. A major step for tolerance of minorities in Anguilla.

  2. Don,
    as long as he doesn't break the law, why should his personal life matter when it comes to a political posting. I would want to know what his experience level is in dealing with overseas territories, see an education bio and read any opinions he has that affect our wellbeing. What he does from the privacy of his own home, one he has that expectation of privacy, shouldn't matter. Are we so much more moral in our personal lives that we can pass judgemnt on him? Again, has he broken any laws?

  3. Don has been almost alone in his public writings in favour of equal rights for gays and lesbians. He does not support intolerance. This is an example of a gay rights issue.

    He does not support Members of Parliament making fools of themselves in public, or ripping off the taxpayers on their expense accounts. Issues such as these are NOT gay issues.

  4. What Chris Bryant does in his private life his is own business, However, what does worry me are the claims he made as an MP - over £92,000 in expenses over the five years leading up to the 2009 scandal over MPs' expenses. During that time he flipped his second-home expenses twice, claimed mortgage interest expenses that started at £7,800 per year before rising (after flipping) to £12,000 per year. He also claimed £6,400 in stamp duty and other fees on his most recent purchase, and
    £6,000 per year in service charges. A claim that he made for £58,493.26, almost three times the annual maximum, in 2004, was disallowed.

    In view of the problems in TCI, Bermuda and Cayman at least, is this the best representative Gordon Brown could give us??

  5. Doesn't appear that Mr Bryant is keeping his private life very private!

  6. From the editorial in this morning's St. Helena Independent:

    "The laugh of the week is the appointment of Chris Bryant as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in FCO. The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown’s, judgement is known to be doubtful but this must be the limit. I don’t have any problem with Mr Bryant being gay. It is his life and he leads it but after ‘selling’ himself on the internet as a semi prostitute then it goes a bit far. If a female MP would have made the same offering on the web I very much doubt that she ever would be a minister in UK – but maybe in Italy.

    On top of this, the man has one of the worst records among MP’s when it comes to claiming outrageous expenses. How can anybody believe a word he is saying or doing?

    We are already picking up some feelings from our friends in the Overseas Territories in the West Indies. They don’t seem to be all that favourable. How many more mishaps can Mr Brown afford before he steps down?"

  7. Goodness me, what a fuss and you've not even had any official dealings with the guy yet!


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