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PLP chairman says he will resign

The under-fire chairman of the Progressive Labour Party confirmed yesterday that he will quit the post.

A statement issued by the party said that Damon Wade had “announced his intention to resign as party chair” at an earlier central committee meeting on Monday night.

The decision came after a unanimous vote of no confidence was passed against Mr Wade and his resignation was demanded by the party executive last month.

Controversy erupted after Mr Wade claimed he was owed a place in the PLP “friends and family policy” at an earlier central committee meeting.

The meeting was recorded and posted on social media.

Mr Wade claimed Cabinet members had shown “incompetence, arrogance and vindictiveness” against him in relation to his proposal for an energy project at the National Sports Centre in Devonshire.

However, David Burt, the party leader and Premier, insisted yesterday that Mr Wade had not intended to use his position for personal gain.

He said: “Some readers could have had the impression that chairman Wade was seeking to use his office to acquire a contract.

“It must be noted for the record that for the public private partnership project at the National Sports Centre, chairman Wade's company was designated the ‘preferred bidder' in September 2018, prior to his election as PLP chairman.

“Therefore, it would be incorrect to suggest the chairman used his position for personal gain or failed to live up to the high moral standards that the officers and members have set for the party and themselves.”

Mr Burt thanked Mr Wade for his service as chairman. He added: “Having held this volunteer office before, I know the incredible demands faced by any chairman of the PLP in balancing private commitments and party matters.”

Mr Burt said Mr Wade's tenure would be remembered for the development of the party mission and vision, designed to “ensure the PLP is a dynamic organisation that can meet the demands of a changing Bermuda”.

He added: “As party leader, I look forward to working with him in the future to make sure that we increase the speed of small-business contracting which will assist the PLP in our mission of increasing black economic empowerment in Bermuda.”

Mr Wade said that he was “honoured” to have served as party chairman.

He added: “During my tenure, we've improved the financial position of the party, started upgrades to our Alaska Hall headquarters and commenced a strategic planning exercise to ensure the party is ready for the challenges of this next decade.”

Mr Wade said that he would remain a member of the party and looked forward to working with the research and platform committee and the Parliamentary group “to put forward recommendations to the party's central committee to assist issues faced by small businesses”.

Mr Wade later declined to comment further on his resignation.

He said: “The policy of the party is that there is one voice, and that press release went out already today.”

Vacant positions on the party executive will be filled at a special delegates conference on February 10.

Damon Wade (Photograph by Anthony E. Wade/PinkSand Entertainment)

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Published January 15, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated January 15, 2020 at 9:09 am)

PLP chairman says he will resign

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