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Mathias ‘knew about coup to oust Atherden’

Former One Bermuda Alliance chairman Justin Mathias is understood to have known about the “coup” to oust its leader for weeks.

A well-placed source said yesterday that he became aware of the plan in the middle of last month, allowing him time to prepare.

It was suggested Mr Mathias stepped down from the role to create a “false sense of security” among those now at the helm.

Eight of the OBA's 11 MPs supported a motion of no confidence in Jeanne Atherden, who was Opposition leader, at a meeting last week.

In a letter to John Rankin, the Governor, they backed former premier Craig Cannonier as her replacement. He was sworn in to the position on Monday.

Since then, Mr Mathias, above, has resigned as OBA chairman, leaving the role vacant. It will be filled following an election process alongside that of party leader, which is separate to that of the Opposition leader.

Now, Leah Scott, the deputy leader, is acting leader while Nandi Outerbridge, the Opposition Senate leader, is acting chairman.

An insider said: “The chairman got wind of the group of eight's plan back in mid-August from the group's top adviser, who happens to be a member of the group.

“That gave him and his team adequate time to plan and prepare for this ‘coup' that was being orchestrated by the then deputy leader.

“He resigned, I believe, to give the now acting OBA leader a false sense of security.” The source continued: “I believe the group also had a political adviser who used to be involved in politics that might have deliberately been giving the group bad advice.

“I believe they wanted to expose the levels that some will go to to achieve their own personal agendas.”

The insider also suggested the “best thing” Ms Scott could do is “walk away from politics”.

Ms Scott was contacted by The Royal Gazette yesterday for comment. Ms Scott said: “I am not going to dignify what anonymous so-called sources say with a comment.”

Leah Scott (File photograph).

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Published September 28, 2018 at 9:00 am (Updated September 28, 2018 at 11:03 am)

Mathias ‘knew about coup to oust Atherden’

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