Premier’s e-mail asks for PLP solidarity
An e-mail that appeared to be from David Burt has asked Progressive Labour Party members to stick together after an internal rift over candidate selection for a by-election was revealed last week.
The Premier said branch chairmen should unite to help win the November 21 contest in Pembroke Central, Constituency 17.
He told party members in the undated e-mail that the past few days had been “the most trying time that the PLP has experienced in the three years that I have been privileged to lead this great party”.
It added: “For the first time in three years there were vast differences or opinion amongst members, parliamentarians and delegates.
“It was a reminder to myself and many others of the wide differences in perspectives that make up our party. Democracy can sometimes be messy, and what took place is not ideal, however we as a party must move past this episode and learn.”
Jason Hayward, a PLP senator and president of the Bermuda Public Services Union, was announced last week by Mr Burt as the candidate for the seat left vacant by the sudden death of sitting MP Walton Brown.
An e-mail last week claimed that 65 per cent of branch members had earlier voted against Mr Hayward for the post and that a motion to field Jamaine Smith instead was ignored by Mr Burt.
The new e-mail said the party had to “try to heal the divide that this latest episode has caused”.
It added: “We must put real energy into the effort of agreeing a clean and detailed process for candidate selection so that we do not find ourselves in this position again. The delegates resolved to look at the matter and I’m hopeful in that exercise there will be some healing.”
“The people of Bermuda are counting on us, the members, officers and parliamentarians of the PLP to unite to take on the status quo.
“Let’s not disappoint them.
“We must rally behind our candidate to provide the support needed for a successful campaign so that on November 21 we will be celebrating our victory.”
The plea was contained in an e-mail seen by The Royal Gazette.
A PLP spokeswoman said yesterday that it was the party’s policy not to discuss internal correspondence in the media.
She added: “We are focused on being on the doorstep and winning Constituency 17 for the PLP.
“Senator Hayward was on the doorstep today and received an overwhelmingly favourable response.”
Mr Burt did not responded to a request for comment by press time yesterday.
The One Bermuda Alliance will announce its candidate today, with Nick Kempe, the party’s leader in the Senate, thought to be the front-runner.
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