LONDON, England — British MP Andrew Rosindell hosted a reception recently to announce and celebrate the launch of the British-St Lucian All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) with the aim of improving future political and economic relations between the UK and St Lucia.
The evening reception was held at Westminster Hall and attended by approximately 100 British and St Lucian business leaders and key influencers.
The APPG will bring together British parliamentarians from all parties and both houses that have an interest in St Lucia and the Caribbean region. It will provide a forum for them to discuss topical issues and facilitate interaction with political parties, business and other groups in St Lucia. At regular meetings and events, the APPG members will have an opportunity to discuss and raise awareness of issues that affect the cultural, economic and commercial wellbeing of St. Lucia such as natural resources, media, health, sport and tourism.
The APPG will be affiliated to the British branch of the Inter-Parliamentary Union – a world-wide organisation of parliamentarians working for peace and co-operation among peoples and the firm establishment of representative institutions.
Deputy prime minister of St Lucia, Philip Pierre, said: “The ties with the UK and St Lucia go back a long way. We cherish those links and our aim is to strengthen them for the future. Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is a historic time for Britain and all of the 16 states, and this is why we’ve chosen this milestone to mark the start of this new party.”
Robert Whitton, the chairman of Freedom Bay, was referred to as ‘a true friend of St Lucia’ by the deputy prime minister and invited to present the ‘loyal toast’. In response, Whitton thanked everyone present saying: “We see this as a positive initiative to consolidate our relationships for the development of St Lucia and hope it will serve to help expand the tourism industry with the expected growth of private organisations and new business on-island.”
The new political party celebrations provided guests with the opportunity to enjoy Caribbean influenced food and a St Lucian band played traditional music, which reflected the positive and convivial spirit of the evening.