John J. Rankin Out! Daniel Pruce In! as Governor


LONDON, UK- The Virgin Islands (VI) will get a new Governor effective January 2024. Mr Daniel Pruce has been appointed Governor of the VI, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development (FCDO) office detailed today, June 30, 2023.

This comes as current Governor H.E Mr John J. Rankin CMG is said to be retiring from diplomatic Service, paving the way for Mr Pruce to take up the appointment in January.

The FCDO said Mr Pruce has years of experience as a diplomat the most recent being FCDO, Interim Director of Communication from 2021 to 2022, Her Majesty’s Ambassador in Manila from 2017 to 2021and Deputy Head of Mission, Madrid from 2012 to 2016.

Mr Pruce was in 2008 to 2012 the Deputy Head of Mission in Bangkok and served as the FCO, Head of Strategic Communications, Europe & Globalisation Directorate from 2007 to 2008.

Rankin is 14th Governor 

In a short ceremony on Friday, January 29, 2021, His Excellency John J. Rankin, CMG was sworn in as the 14th United Kingdom (UK) appointed Governor of the [British] Virgin Islands.

During the ceremony, it was revealed by Deputy Governor David D. Archer Jr, while reading the Royal Commission of Appointment, that Governor Rankin’s appointment had took effect from the previous Ex-Governor Augustus J.U. Jaspert departed the territory on Saturday, January 23, 2021.

Mr Rankin then took the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath for due Execution of Office, administered by Madam Justice Vicki Ann Elis before the Governor and Justice Vicki Ellis signed the Oath.

Controversy in office 

During his tenure, Mr Rankin has been accused of lying to the people of the VI regarding a statement made on February 14, 2023, where he said it would have been possible for a dissolution of the House of Assembly and a new election called following the release of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) Report, however, members of the House of Assembly chose to form a Government of National Unity and committed to the implementation of the CoI recommendations.

Then Unity Government Premier Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) had slammed the Governor over the statement after labeling it false, while reiterating that the VI Government had wanted to maintain a good relationship in the best interest of the people of the Virgin Islands because he believes collaboration is better than conflict.

According to the Premier, the statement from the Governor was, therefore, one that was trying to bamboozle the people of the VI, “I’m not going allow the governor or anybody else to bamboozle the people of the Virgin Islands,” he had said.

Gov Rankin was caught in another lie?

Mr Rankin had also been caught in a scandal over whether he knew in advance of the United States (US) sting operation that led to the arrest of ex-Premier of the Virgin Islands, Andrew A. Fahie in Miami on April 28, 2022.

The Governor has repeatedly denied having prior knowledge of the arrest of Mr Fahie and had said it was not a joint UK/US operation.

Tortoise Media on September 22, 2022, said, despite the claims of the Governor, that a recording sent ‘inadvertently’ by the Governor’s Office suggested that the Governor does in fact sign off on US DEA operations in the VI and that he generally knows of investigations that are underway. 

The Governor in a short clip said, “I do give the authorisation for DEA operations.”

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