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Censure motions all the rage in the House

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In the wake of a dispute between Opposition Leader Marc Bean, Opposition Deputy Leader David Burt and the Speaker of House of Assembly Randy Horton on Friday night, which led to the Speaker to order the ejection of Mr Burt from the House, the Opposition Leader and the Speaker face censure motions, which will be considered the next time the House sits.

The censure motion moved by Mark Pettingill, of the One Bermuda Alliance, called for Mr Bean to be suspended from the House of Assembly.

His three-point motion read: “One, condemns and expressed disgust at the words and actions of the Member from Warwick South Central, the Leader of the Opposition, on Friday, March 13, and censures the member accordingly; two, abhors the action of the member for Warwick South Central in verbally threatening Members of the House and showing total disrespect to the Office of the Speaker of the House, and by this action, seriously reflecting upon the honour and dignity of the House; and, three, suspends the member for Warwick South Central from the service of the House.

“In addition, the Opposition Leader failed to acknowledge the seriousness and gravity the behaviour identified, which is not the type of behaviour that should be associated with Bermuda's Opposition Leader, or any Member of Parliament.”

A motion moved by Progressive Labour Party MP Michael Scott, accused Mr Horton of displaying “woeful ignorance and lack of understanding of Standing Orders.” He called the issues “very grave in connection with your role as Speaker”.

His motion states that the House censures Mr Horton “for bringing the democracy of these Islands of Bermuda and its Parliament into disrepute, by his misconduct of suppressing debate in the House of Assembly, on an amendment to an Opposition motion, of public importance, and in breach of basic tenets of Parliamentary procedure; a) bringing Parliament into disrepute, by his misconduct of refusing to both acknowledge and take a point of order and refusing to allow and hear a point of privilege by the member for Pembroke West Central [David Burt], who rose on a point of privilege, in breach of the Standing Orders of the House, ... bringing the Parliament into disrepute, by the misuse and abuse of his authority as Speaker, by ejecting the Member for Pembroke West Central immediately after the Member rose on a point of privilege without any lawful or justifiable grounds to eject the Member; c) displaying a woeful ignorance and lack of understanding of Standing Orders of the House of Assembly and basic Parliamentary procedure thereby bringing the Parliament into disrepute.”

Mark Pettingill
Michael Scott

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Published March 17, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated March 17, 2015 at 9:22 am)

Censure motions all the rage in the House

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