Who We Are

Built from the Ground Up

The Peoples Progressives Movement (PPM), now called the Progressives, was conceived in 2000. The six Founders, D. Kurt Tibbetts (OBE), Sir Alden McLaughlin (KCMG, KC MBE), Lucille Seymour (MBE, BEM), Edna Moyle (OBE), Anthony Eden (OBE), and Arden McLean (JP), understood that the future of the Cayman Islands would be best served by a grassroots political organisation built from the ground up.

Against the backdrop of a push towards Constitutional Reform by the United Kingdom, and the unique political circumstances of the day, right-thinking Caymanians knew they had to find an effective vehicle to strengthen participatory democracy in the country to counter the dictatorial approach of the then-governing party.

Our Founders

Continuing Progressives Growth

Joining our Founders were many other founding members, known as our “Movers and Shakers”, committed to the ideals of principle-led governance, full participatory democracy, the formulation of a national development plan and a long-term vision of where they wanted to take the country.

The Hon D Kurt Tibbetts served as the Interim Political Leader of the PPM, with Sir Alden McLaughlin serving as Party Secretary and the unofficial Interim Deputy Political Leader.

About us

The History of the Progressives

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27 March 2003Founded on Principle-led Governance

Within two years, in September 2002, the PPM Party was launched at a packed Town Hall in Bodden Town with hundreds of card-carrying PPM members attending. Also in attendance was the Prime Minister of St Vincent & The Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, who gave the Keynote Address. Over the next two years, we continued growing membership and placing ourselves as a viable alternative to the UDP Government. In 2003, we held our first Party Conference where The Prime Minister of St Lucia, The Hon. Kenny Anthony spoke to a packed Hall at UCCI. Through the Party’s internal processes, the members chose the candidates to represent the Party and, ultimately, the people of the Cayman Islands. The Party then got to work preparing for expected elections in 2004. In the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan in September 2004, with the UDP Government in disarray, the Progressives rose to organise relief supplies for, and to assist, hundreds of residents in need. The November 2004 election was postponed to May 2005 due to the hurricane's severe damage to Grand Cayman. The Progressives continued to work, and as the country emerged from the worst of the Hurricane, we began preparing for the election.

2005First Progressives Government Takes office in 2005

Following the 2005 election, the Progressives won all nine seats it contested, with our Founders being joined in Government by Alfonso Wright (George Town), Charles Clifford (Bodden Town) and Osbourne Bodden (Bodden Town). Immediately following the election, Moses Kirkconnell from Cayman Brac joined the Progressives in the Government.

2006Strong Leadership during post-Ivan Rebuilding

The first order of business was the rebuilding of the islands following the passage of Hurricane Ivan some eight months earlier. The Government used the opportunity not only to rebuild but to invest in Cayman’s future physical and human resource development.

2007Builds Infrastructure

Institutional strengthening of health services and major road-building projects were important achievements of the new government. The PPM government saw as its first priority the modernization of the education system to address the urgent needs of our children as well as the life-long training of adults. Previous administrations had ignored these critical infrastructure investments.

2009Establishes Rights for the People

The party enthusiastically worked to lay the groundwork for the passage of the New Constitution in June 2009, which allows people-initiated referenda and a modern Bill of Rights, further strengthening participatory democracy in the Cayman Islands.

2008-2009Global Recession of 2008-2009

The global recession of 2008 meant that the Progressives’ ambitious infrastructure development programme had to be curtailed as the Government grappled with declining revenues from tourism and the international business sectors.

2009-2013Stood in Opposition from 2009-2013

Following the May 2009 election, four Progressive members lost their seats because of the fallout from the Global recession. The Progressives then found themselves again in Opposition. The Hon. D. Kurt Tibbetts (George Town) became the Leader of The Opposition with Alden McLaughlin (George Town) named as Deputy Leader of the Opposition. The other opposition members were Arden McLean (East End), Anthony Eden (Bodden Town), and Moses Kirkconnell (Cayman Brac & Little Cayman). However, despite losing the Government, the Progressives did win the Referendum on the new 2009 Constitution. A significant victory for the country and the party.

2011A Leadership change and the PPM re-brands as The Progressives

In 2011 The Hon. D Kurt Tibbets stepped down as political leader, allowing the party to choose a new Political leader in sufficient time before the next election. The Honorable Alden McLaughlin was elected as our second political leader, and subsequently became the Leader of the Opposition. He appointed The Hon. Moses Kirkconnell as his Deputy. The Party also re-branded as the Progressives and put forward plans for creating jobs, building our communities and restoring pride in government and our country when next elected.

2012Held a Chaotic Government to account.

During our time in Opposition, The Progressives held a chaotic UDP Government to account. We were compelled to bring several "No Confidence motions" against then Premier Bush and his Government over the shambolic way the country was being run and because of various scandals. The third "No Confidence motion" succeeded in December 2012. Premier Bush was removed as Premier, with five UDP members supporting the Opposition's motion. A Minority Government of five former UDP members governed our Islands over the remainder of the term, with the support of the Progressives who remained in Opposition.

2013-20172013-2017 A Return to Government

After four years of a chaotic UDP government, our country was in a mess. The economy was stagnant, and Caymanian unemployment stood at a high of 10.5 %. Our relationship with the UK was at a low and public confidence in government was shattered. At a time when the country needed stable, competent leadership and Government, Caymanians turned again to the Progressives. The Progressives formed the Government with Alden McLaughlin (GT) as Premier, and Moses Kirkconnell (CB&LC) as Deputy Premier. Joining them in Government were Kurt Tibbetts (GT), Joseph “Joey” Hew (GT); Marco Archer (GT); Anthony Eden (BT); Osbourne Bodden (BT); and Alva Suckoo (BT). Following the Election Juliana O’Connor-Conolly (CB&LC) and Roy McTaggart (GT) joined the government and the party. Non-Progressive members who also joined the Government were Tara Rivers (WB) and Winston Conolly (GT). Over the four years, the economy was strengthened, and unemployment was slashed with 2,000 more Caymanians in jobs. The Progressives restored government finances, creating surpluses while benefiting families and businesses by cutting import duties and government fees. We defended our people against those who would harm our economy. Premier Alden McLaughlin made a historic appearance on the BBC HardTalk show and, on the same day, gave a keynote speech at the prestigious Chatham House in London. We protected the most vulnerable - our children, our elderly, and people with disabilities. We started working on our solid waste strategy and the eventual closure of the landfill. We started the long-needed renovations on the Owen Roberts Int’l Airport and sought to modernise our airports and seaport and to build a cruise berthing port. Public Education was put back on track, and the Cayman Islands Coast Guard was formed.

2017-2021Re-elected 2017-2021

The 2017 general election was the first to be held after the introduction of single-member constituencies. Following the election, the Progressives remained the largest party, winning seven of the nineteen seats, however, some key Progressives seats were lost. Following negotiations, a coalition government between the Progressives, three Cayman Democratic Party members and two independent members was agreed. The Progressives coalition government took office with Alden McLaughlin as Premier and The Hon Moses Kirkconnell as Deputy Premier. The new Progressives government helped ensure the continuity of Progressives projects, programmes, and policies underway from the last administration. During the first two years, the government continued the work to strengthen the economy and to provide jobs and opportunities for our people. Further improvements to education were achieved, and we strengthened our relationship with the UK and achieved enhancements to our constitution. We celebrated the 60th anniversary of our constitution and our coat of arms. The Progressives ensured that the Cayman Islands were the envy of far larger and more resource-rich countries in the region by dint of prudent financial management and robust policies in tourism and financial services. The second half of the Government’s term was focused on the management of the COVID-19 pandemic has also been praised by its citizens and others far and wide. At our party conference in March 2021, The Hon. Roy McTaggart was selected as our New Political Leader. The Hon. Joey Hew became the Deputy Political Leader.

2021New Leadership for the Progressives

At the Progressives Party Conference on March 12th the mantle of leadership was passed on to Roy McTaggart, who became the new Leader of the Progressives, and Joey Hew, who became Deputy Leader of the Progressives. The Hon Alden McLaughlin, the former Leader of the Opposition, and his Deputy Leader, the Hon Moses Kirkconnell, both stepped down from their party leadership roles. This transition continued the tradition of orderly change of leadership in the party. However, both Mr McLaughln and Mr Kirkconnell remained as Premier and Deputy Premier, respectively, until after the election in April. Anton Duckworth, our longstanding Chairman, also retired from the post, and the Conference selected Alden McLaughlin as our new Progressives Party Chairman. The candidates for the upcoming election were also ratified.

2021A Return to Opposition

The 2021 election was the first election that the Progressives ran as part of a coalition under the banner of the Alliance. There were also independent candidates that we supported and had agreements with to form a government following the election. All Progressives’ candidates, except for one, were successful; however, at the end of the day, we were unable to form the Government. So, once again, the Progressives are tasked with keeping a chaotic Government in check whilst preparing for the next election in 2025. In December 2021, Sir Alden McLaughlin received the KCMG from Her Majesty the Queen, and another of our founding members, Ms Lucille Seymour, received an MBE. In 2022 the Progressives began celebrating the 20th Anniversary of our Launch in September 2002.
The Progressives

Our Track Record of Success

Our Response to COVID-19
  • Worked with private businesses to ensure that as the borders closed and the economy slowed that families and businesses that could not afford to pay for electricity, water, telephone, Internet, mortgages or bank loans would receive a grace period of several months.
  • We acted quickly to eliminate the virus and prevent wide community spread and a public health disaster that would have devastated our communities.
  • The successful roll-out of our community testing and tracing programme – including obtaining our testing lab capacity and test kits by April 2020.
  • Organised the phased opening of the local economy from lockdown, with testing and tracing continued to ensure that we were opening up safely.
  • Organised effective quarantine facilities in secured Government facilities or at home with strict monitoring protocols.
  • Ensured that our hospitals, older care facilities, and prison were secured to keep the virus from impacting the patients or residents.
Improving Health Services
  • We started work on the long-term Mental Health Facility in East End to significantly improve mental health care for those who need it rather than sending patients overseas.
  • The Health Services Authority (HSA) began a phased multi-year plan to modernise and improve its facilities – including plans to expand operations outside George Town.
  • Opened Habakkuk House to provide specialist care for children with special needs and to separate them from older special needs patients.
  • Successfully rolled out the national COVID-19 Vaccination program to protect the most vulnerable from the virus. At the time of printing 39,145 vaccinations have been given with more than 12,824 people receiving both doses. About 41% of the population (26,321 people) have received at least one dose. To date, we have protected over 90% of those over 60.
Investing in Crime Prevention
  • Invested in a new Community Policing Department, with police officers dedicated to working directly in and creating relationships within specific neighborhoods.
  • Added specially trained community support officers who were brought on to assist Community Police Officers and help reduce crime and increase public reassurance.
  • Invested in a new modern digital forensic hub to protect people and businesses from cybercrime.
Enhancing Cayman's Security & Resilience
  • Purchase of new helicopters to enhance resilience in national disasters and assist in crime prevention.
  • Creation of the Cayman Islands Coast Guard to keep our seas safer by carrying out search and rescue operations and detecting and preventing boats arriving in our waters with drugs, guns, or illegal immigrants.
  • The Customs and Border Control Service merged Immigration and Customs into a single agency to protect our sea and air borders by utilising modern intelligence based security arrangements to detect and intercept people and contraband that would cause harm in our Islands.
  • Improved the Hazard Management response regime to provide better protection against any disaster and the management in the aftermath of disasters. All Islands have Community Emergency Response Teams, including Little Cayman.
Environmental Improvments
  • We started capping the George Town landfill and signed the agreement with a Dart-led consortium to build the long awaited waste-to-energy plant located next to the current landfill. When complete, the new facilities, including composting and recycling, will allow the closure of the existing landfill, reduce waste byproduct by 90%, and provide extracted methane fuel to CUC.
  • A successful Green Iguana culling programme to protect the native Blue Iguana population – about 1.3M green iguanas culled.
  • Marine park expansion with ‘no fish areas’ was more than doubled in all three Islands. ‘No dive zones’ were also significantly expanded. This expansion was the most significant expansion and enhancement to the marine park systems in more than 30 years.
  • Introduced ‘Green’ hop-on/hop-off public transport pilot for central George Town.
Supporting Business Through The COIVD-19 Crisis
  • Arranged a Government Guaranteed Loans Scheme with local banks, totaling $200M, to assist medium to large businesses with operating expenses and debt refinancing while we recover the economy.
  • $9M in grants to small and microbusinesses.
  • One-off grants to struggling Caymanian businesses not eligible for the core grants programme.
Achieving Strong Sustainable Economic Growth
  • Growth rates peaked at 3.8% in 2019 before the impact of COVID-19.
  • Five years of consecutive growth averaging 3% through to the end of 2019.
  • Created the new Ministry of International Trade, Investment, Aviation and Maritime Affairs to focus on advancing the economic interests of the country around the globe and attracting new investment to Cayman.
  • Supported new private sector development in tourism, health tourism and the ongoing development of Tech Cayman and Cayman Tech City (part of the Cayman Enterprise City Special Economic Zone).
  • Opened the Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development to support micro and small businesses, part of the Government’s major strategic priority to support entrepreneurship and harness Caymanians’ creativity to build innovative and sustainable businesses.
Boosting Caymanian Employment
  • Created the opportunities that have seen 3,000 more Caymanians obtain jobs and reduced Caymanian unemployment from 10.5% in 2012 to about 5% before the pandemic.
  • Increased the NiCE programmes to give unemployed Caymanians both income and valuable experience to support them into employment.
  • We created a very successful City & Guilds Apprenticeship programme within the Public Works Department in 2017 linked with CIFEC. In March 2021, the new PWD Construction and Trades Centre, partly built by students, was opened, allowing more programmes to be offered.
Improving Cayman's Infrastructure
  • Completing the Airport terminal expansion and runway improvements.
  • Instituted a new National Planning Framework for the Cayman Islands known as Plan Cayman, supported by extensive public engagement.
Enhancing Cayman's Tourism Success
  • Before the pandemic, the number of visitors to our islands hit an all-time high for air and sea arrivals.
  • New airport links opened up new markets, including the American west coast.
Supporting Families Through The COVID-19 Crisis
  • A one-off payment of $425 to disabled persons, seamen, veterans and persons already receiving personal financial assistance from the Government.
  • Support for tourism workers through a one-time grant of $600 and additional monthly support of $1,000 subsequently rising to $1,500 per month.
  • Supporting education expenditure and activities at a total cost of over $3 million in online distance learning, including the cost of learning packs and the online learning platform; free school meals; grants to pre-schools; and outsourced services for schools, including security, cleaning and school buses.
  •  Enabling over 36,000 persons to access their pensions during the crisis to keep their families secure during the crisis.
Improving Education and Learning
  • Improved exam results.
  • Improved school ratings from inspections.
  • Supported teachers through increased salaries and better training and development.
  • Additional classrooms in primary schools.
  • New/enhanced sports and other facilities at schools.
  • Building of the new John Gray High School, the first phase was completed in 2021.
  • Delivery of new curriculum as a basis for future improvement.
Helping The Most Vulnerable in Our Community
  • Increased ex-gratia payments made to Caymanians who need extra support from $500 monthly to $950 per month.
  • We increased the Seamen’s and Veteran’s ex-gratia payments to $950 per month.
  • Provided an additional stipend to supplement pensions of retired long serving civil servants to ensure the minimum pension received is $950 per month.
  • Opened Habakkuk House, which separates children and adults with special needs and makes sure their differing requirements can be appropriately and safely met.
  • Action against domestic violence and abuse.
  • Improved arrangements to safeguard vulnerable children.
Supporting Caymanians To Own Their Own Homes
  • Pushed forward the National Housing Development Trust’s affordable housing programme, building new homes in East End and Bodden Town.
  • Purchased 24 acres of land in George Town for additional NHDT affordable homes.
  • All new NHDT homes will incorporate solar panels to help save on electricity costs.
  • Increased stamp duty thresholds for first time Caymanian home buyers, allowing greater numbers of Caymanians to purchase first-time properties and land duty-free or at 2% duty.
  • Supported the Government Guaranteed Home Assisted Mortgage Programme that has assisted over 300 families obtain homes over the years. The programme fell away during 2020 but is being reimplemented.
Improved Wages and Cut Fees To Assist Families
  • Reduced fees to persons over 65 years on various items, including mobility scooters and wheelchairs, reduced fees on post box rental, driver’s license, and work permit fees for caregivers, amongst others.
  • Maintained the reduced import duty rate for traders, from 22% to 20%, to help lower prices.
  • Maintained the reduction in import duty on the diesel used by CUC to lower electricity costs for everyone.
Continued Enhancements For Cayman Brac and Little Cayman
  • Started the provision of piped water throughout Cayman Brac.
  • Completed and opened the 25 metre swimming pool.
  • The visit by HRH Prince Charles to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
  • Encouraging new businesses to move to the Brac, creating new opportunities for Brackers.
  • Lowered duty on building materials for homes, including duty on home appliances.
Managing Through The COVID-19 Crisis
  • Implemented comprehensive community communication plan, including Premier’s & Minister’s press briefings to explain the situation and encourage voluntary compliance with restrictions.
  • Swift and effective enforcement actions in respect of non-compliance.
  • Effective partnership working with Governor’s Office,
  • Worked with business partners locally to maintain adequate supply chains and support business continuity arrangements.
Achieving Long-Term Financial Stability
  • Delivered significant Government budget surpluses each year since the Progressives took office.
  • Repaid significant tranches of Government loans debt, reducing public sector debt by $325M over two terms – from $574M on June 30th, 2013, to $249M by the end of 2020.
  • Reduced fees and duties for families and for businesses, including fuel duty on electricity, small business fees and stamp duty for first time Caymanian house buyers and import duty for licensed traders.
Enhancing Cayman's Constitutional Standing and Celebrated Cayman's History
  • Constitutional amendments agreed with the UK that enhances and protects Caymanian self-government in domestic affairs, guarantee consultation on UK legislation impacting Cayman, and upgraded the Legislative Assembly to the House of Parliament.
  • Celebration of the 60th anniversaries of our Coat of Arms and Constitution brought a renewed focus on these important aspects of our democracy and uncovered much historical material regarding this important period of our history.
  • Renaming of George Town town hall to Constitution Hall in recognition of its role as a place of Government for many years and where our first written Constitution was approved by the legislature.
  • Celebration of our Seafarers with a yearlong series of events, including a new Seafarers Park and renaming of Harbour Drive as Seafarers way.
Developing Cayman's Practice of Good Governance Principles
  • Valuing Cayman’s hard-working civil servants and increasing salaries for Civil Servants in line with the consumer price index.
  • Introduction of the data protection frameworks.
  • E-Government roll out to make services more accessible and cost-effective for citizens.
  • Implemented the Standards in Public Life Law.
The Progressives

Our Past Manifestos

Elected Members from 2005-2009:

Kurt Tibbetts – George Town (Leader of Government Business)

Alden McLaughlin – George Town

Edna Moyle – North Side

Anthony Eden – Bodden Town

Lucille Seymour – George Town

Alfonso Wright – George Town

Osbourne Bodden – Bodden Town

Charles Clifford – Bodden Town

Arden McLean – East End

*Moses Kirkconnell – Cayman Brac & Little Cayman

* Joined the Progressives following the election.

Elected Members from 2009-2013:

Kurt Tibbetts – George Town (Leader Of The Opposition)

Alden McLaughlin – George Town (Deputy Leader Of The Opposition)

Arden McLean – East End

Anthony Eden – Bodden Town

Moses Kirkconnell – Cayman Brac & Little Cayman

Elected Members from 2013-2017:

Alden McLaughlin – George Town (Premier)

Moses Kirkconnell – Cayman Brac & Little Cayman (Deputy Premier)

Kurt Tibbetts – George Town

Joseph “Joey” Hew- George Town

Marco Archer – George Town

Anthony Eden – Bodden Town

Osbourne Bodden – Bodden Town

Wayne Panton – Bodden Town

Alva Suckoo – Bodden Town

*Juliana O’Connor-Connolly – Cayman Brac & Little Cayman

*Roy McTaggart – George Town

* Joined the Progressives following the election.

Elected Members from 2017-2021:

Alden McLaughlin- Red Bay  (Premier)

Moses Kirkconnell – Cayman Brac West & Little Cayman (Deputy Premier)

Juliana O’Connor-Connolly- Cayman Brac East

Barbara Conolly – George Town South

Joseph “Joey” Hew – George Town North

Roy McTaggart – George Town East

David Wight – George Town West

Elected Members from 2021-present:

Roy McTaggart- George Town East (Leader Of The Opposition)

Joseph “Joey” Hew – George Town North (Deputy Leader Of The Opposition)

Barbara Conolly – George Town South

David Wight – George Town West

Alden McLaughlin- Red Bay

Moses Kirkconnell – Cayman Brac West & Little Cayman

*Juliana O’Connor-Connolly – Cayman Brac East

* Joined the PACT Government following the election

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294 Crewe Road, George Town, Cayman Islands