The Empire lives! Well no? In 2002 all remaining Islands and territories are no longer called The British Empire but are now call 'British overseas territories' so why has London retaken control of one of its Islands of 35,000 people? Corruption and incompetence that's why.
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Britain has imposed direct rule on the Turks and Caicos Islands after an inquiry found evidence of government corruption and incompetence.
The Caribbean islands' administration has been suspended for up to two years and power has been transferred to the British-appointed governor.
Politicians are accused of selling crown land for personal gain.
Turks and Caicos is a UK overseas territory and residents there have British citizenship.
The British government has been threatening action for several months after an inquiry commissioned by the Foreign Office returned a damning verdict.
It examined the actions of the Turks' Cabinet and Assembly and found "information in abundance pointing to a high probability of systematic corruption or serious dishonesty".
It also concluded there were "clear signs of political amorality and immaturity and of a general administrative incompetence".
The former premier, Michael Misick, is alleged to have built up a multi-million dollar fortune since coming to power in 2003.
He resigned in March, but has denied the allegations and says he attracted valuable foreign investment to the islands.
Foreign Office Minister Chris Bryant said: "This is a serious constitutional step which the UK government has not taken lightly, but these measures are essential in order to restore good governance and sound financial management.
"It remains our intentions that elections should be held by July 2011, if not sooner.
"The governor and his advisors have much to do, but I know that many people in Turks and Caicos Islands will welcome this move and have high expectations for the end outcome.
"I encourage them to work with the governor to rebuild stability and confidence in their territory."
The imposition of rule went ahead after a legal challenge by Mr Misick failed at the UK Court of Appeal earlier this week.
Turks and Caicos is a leading offshore financial centre and thousands of foreign companies are registered there.
The territory is also a popular tourist destination and have a population of about 35,000.
Once a dependency of Jamaica, the islands become a crown colony when Jamaica gained its independence in 1962.
Gordon Wetherell, who took over as governor last year, said Britain's move did not amount to a "takeover".
"Public services will continue to be run by people of the Turks and Caicos Islands, as indeed they should be, but I hope we can now begin to run them better," he said.
"Our goal is to make a clean break from the mistakes of the past by establishing a durable path towards good governance, sound financial management and sustainable development."
"Our guiding principles will be those of transparency, accountability and responsibility. I believe that most people in the Turks and Caicos will join with me in welcoming these changes."
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