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DeSilva: ‘I paid the price’ for party error

Dancing without a mask on at a dinner in a restaurant was a “mistake”, the former tourism minister admitted today.

Zane DeSilva said he had to “pay the price” for his actions and apologised to David Burt, the Premier, as well as residents.

He told the Bermuda Broadcasting Company: “He expects his minister to set an example and quite frankly I screwed up.”

Mr DeSilva, who was the tourism and transport minister, and Wayne Caines, who was the Minister of National Security, stepped down from their Cabinet positions at the request of the Premier after a function the pair attended at the Blu Bar & Grill in Warwick drew a barrage of criticism for breaches of Covid-19 health restrictions.

Mr DeSilva insisted: “It was not a party at the Blu - it was a charity dinner and for the most part everybody was sitting down for the majority of the night.”

He denied a claim made earlier that the event — footage of which was shared on social media — was a 57th birthday party for his wife, Joanne.

The event was held last Friday night and Ms DeSilva's birthday was last Sunday.

Mr DeSilva added: “Where you saw me I came out of the men's room — when I came out of the men's room a guy was playing the saxophone and I spent 20 seconds doing a little jig. Big mistake — no mask.

“I was on my way out, went to the bathroom, came out, a guy was there, I jigged for a couple of minutes and then I left.”

But he said: “As a minister of the Government I should know better, should have had my mask on, case closed, no doubt.

“When everyone else stopped to watch the guy play his saxophone, as a minister, I should have said ‘hey look, just keep moving, don't stop'.

“He was there to serenade people on their way out so that's my mistake and for that ... I have to pay the price for that.

“I put my hand up and I apologise to everybody.

“I apologise to the Premier, to my Cabinet colleagues, to my caucus colleagues, to the people of Bermuda.”

Mr DeSilva said: “It's a bad play so, you know, I deserve to be punished.” He added he was “not totally shocked” when the Premier asked for his resignation.

Mr DeSilva said that there was a “diverse” team in the Progressive Labour Party Parliamentary group and that Mr Burt had “many options” for someone to take on the tourism portfolio.

He added: “I'm sure that he will make the best choice that he feels Bermuda needs at this time and quite frankly, I'll be there to assist, because I may not be a Cabinet minister but I will be in the back working just as hard as I always do.”

Zane DeSilva, former Minister of Tourism and Transport (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published July 07, 2020 at 3:15 pm (Updated July 07, 2020 at 6:18 pm)

DeSilva: ‘I paid the price’ for party error

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