He confessed that he was part of several meetings along with the late PNCR executive member and parliamentarian Winston Murray with various organisations, including the AFC. Murray had come under fire for his “ clandestine” meeting at the Pegasus Hotel with Trotman as it was alleged that they were seeking to broker a deal for Murray to cross over from PNCR to AFC. Murray had denied that he was interested in leaving the PNCR and that the meeting was clandestine.
Charles seemed uneasy as he sought to justify his decision to leave the PNCR at this critical juncture, especially since he had campaigned with the party at the last election, and was part of a group that had challenged party leader Robert Corbin for supremacy.
He was also part and parcel of what many strong PNCR supporters believe were attempts to further frustrate the party which was going through some transitions.
Opposition leader and PNCR leader Robert Corbin, speaking during an interview on Dr Van West Charles’ decision to join the AFC, stated that party always saw him as an “ opportunist”. Corbin said that Van West Charles was “ never with the PNCR”. Questioned what he meant by this, he explained that the doctor was always with “ Van West Charles and his personal ambitions”. “ He capitalised on marrying Burnham’s daughter and got through with a scholarship to do medicine; came back to Guyana and got a minister of health position without any political work in the fields. In fact, he was given a name – Baby Jesus meaning that he had arrived without any work and was blessed be cause he was Burnham’s son- in- law,” Corbin said.
He added that Charles believed that “ the mystique of having married Burnham’s daughter ... would automatically qualify him for the leader ship of the PNCR, but had a rude awakening when the PNCR rejected him be cause he was an opportunist”. “ The PNCR will lose nothing from his going. The members of the PNCR will now be vindicated in their decision to reject him,” a confident Corbin advised.
“ He was a member and chairman of the Meadowbrook arm of the PNCR and was deceiving the members of the public.
I wouldn’t waste any more time. He has never held any position in the PNC. He never won any elected office and never mobilised anyone in the name of the party,” Corbin said.