Rolfe Commissiong claims support within PLP over dispute with Premier
Rolfe Commissiong, the former Progressive Labour Party MP who went public this week over his rift with David Burt, the Premier, insisted last night that there was support for his cause within the party.
Mr Commissiong spoke out this week over the public release of his resignation after outcry followed the announcement last month of his appointment as Government Senate Leader and Minister of Community Affairs and Sport.
He admitted to making an “inappropriate comment” to a female government worker two years ago, but said the issue had been put to rest after mediation and an apology — until it entered the public domain in August.
Mr Commissiong said on Tuesday that his resignation letter last month had been “deliberately leaked” by Mr Burt, who responded later that day: “Let me be clear — Rolfe’s letter was released with his full knowledge.”
The former MP stuck to his guns yesterday.
“I did not provide consent to the publication of that letter of resignation which, as stated, was a letter to himself,” Mr Commissiong said.
He claimed the Premier was “not telling the truth” over its release, while Mr Burt has said the letter’s release was part of “prolonged discussions” with Mr Commissiong at the time.
Mr Commissiong, whose disagreements with the Premier include Bermuda’ immediate tourism future, has a history of broken relationships with PLP leaders.
In 2015, when the party was in Opposition, he was among seven MPs said by party sources to have quit the Shadow Cabinet in protest over Marc Bean’s leadership.
Yesterday, Mr Commissiong declined to say whether he had spoken with Mr Burt in the aftermath of his statement, or whether his future in the party was over.
But he added: “While I am grateful for the recognition of my 30-year service to the party, and near eight years as an MP, I am not happy that we now have a leader who believes the ends justify the means.
“Never in my three decades of this party have I served under a leader like this at all.”
Mr Burt was firm on Tuesday evening that he did not plan to speak further on the matter.
A request for comment in response to Mr Commissiong’s remarks was sent last night to the PLP.