Riley Grant (born 7 May 1958) is a Washingtonian politician and the current Speaker of the Grand Washingtonian Assembly. Grant previously served as the Minister of the Presidency for Intergovernmental Cooperation between 1989 and 1995, a post which gave him significant influence throughout the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. During his term as Minister, he was known for enforcing the loyalty to the UNP and the Monarchy and their policy decisions throughout government, including the Grand Assembly.
He subsequently was placed on the Union Nationalist Party's party list for the Assembly, and served as a normal party assemblyman between 1996 and 2006. Grant was then elected as Speaker after the 2006 general election, and was again reelected in 2011. Because he occupies that post, he is also the Leader of the Majority in the Assembly, which makes him, arguably, one of the most powerful politicians in Washingtonia. He is responsible for enforcing the majority party discipline, thus, the way most assemblymen must vote comes through his office.
Grant was born in Bishopsroad, South Island, on 7 May 1958, where he also grew up. He attended Concordia University, where he obtained his degree in physics. He stayed on at the university as a lecturer and later professor until he took a job at the Ministry of Education and Science as a Senior Science Advisor to the Minister. As SSA, Grant's interest in politics was awakened, which led to him seeking a more ambitious posting. He became active in party politics which earned him the role of Leader of the Science Caucus within the party. With the party's leadership taking notice of Grant's abilities and political skill, he was eventually made Deputy Minister of Education and Science, where he remained until 1989 when he was made Minister of the Presidency for Intergovernmental Cooperation.
After this promotion, Grant's popularity among regular party members fell, while the trust and favor of the party leadership skyrocketed. For his ability to "strong arm" civil servants and legislators into getting behind party policies and decisions, the leadership made him a member of the UNP's Governing Committee. Nearing the end of his term, the leadership considered placing him in the Grand Assembly to directly enforce the party discipline. He was subsequently placed on the party list in 1996 and joined the Assembly in that same year after the general election. He was not made Speaker immediately, however did enforce the discipline behind the scenes as a member of the Governing Committee. He was chosen as Speaker in 2006 when former Speaker Damian Charleston retired.
His posting has led to much controversy, especially but not limited to opposition parties. His strict enforcement of party discipline has led to many stating he is circumventing democracy. The Christian Libertarian Party, which is opposed to the system of proportional representation, has been his most formidable critic. He is however not loved among other Union Nationalist assemblymen due to the abnormally strict discipline his office enforces. Votes of conscious have become much rarely allowed since his ascendance to the Speakership and even less after he was reelected. Many have come to call him the "Dictator of the Assembly".