Renée Ming denies she was axed from Cabinet and insists she quit over differences
The Premier was last night engulfed in a fresh crisis after a minister he claimed he fired insisted that she had quit over a series of problems.
Renée Ming, who was the national security minister, said: “I resigned from the Premier’s Cabinet.”
But she declined to reveal specific reasons for the decision – or speculate on why Mr Burt had said she had been removed.
Ms Ming said: “I resigned for many reasons. There were many reasons. He decided to do it this way, but I resigned.”
Mr Burt earlier said it was his decision for Ms Ming to exit the Cabinet and that he had asked the Governor to “revoke the appointment” as part of a post-Budget look at the present front bench.
Mr Burt said: “I met with MP Ming today and informed her of my decision and to thank her for her service.
“I would like to thank MP Ming for her service in Cabinet. I’m sure she will continue to be a forceful voice for her constituents as she continues her service in the House of Assembly.”
Mr Burt added later that Ms Ming “did indicate that she had come with a letter of resignation” to a meeting he had arranged.
He said: “I informed her that I would not accept it as I had already advised the Governor of my decision regarding her appointment.
“I indicated to ministers yesterday that, now that the budget session has concluded, I would be holding meetings with a view to making changes to the configuration of the Cabinet.”
Mr Burt said Ms Ming was due to go on vacation tomorrow and that he “wished to inform her of this decision in person”
He added he expected to announce the “new Cabinet configuration” next Monday.
The surprise axing of Ms Ming was the second high-profile departure from the Cabinet in the space of a few weeks after Curtis Dickinson resigned as finance minister last month.
Ms Ming declined to comment if Mr Burt’s position as Premier was tenable after two high-profile departures from Cabinet in quick succession.
She said: “I think that is a matter for him.”
Mr Burt said Wayne Furbert, the Cabinet Office minister, would be the Acting Minister of National Security until a permanent replacement was announced.
Michael Dunkley, the shadow national security minister and a former premier, said Mr Burt was losing his grip on the reins of power.
Mr Dunkley added: “If it was not evident by now it surely is with the latest firing … David Burt is facing significant headwinds within his own party and with the people of Bermuda.”
He said: “A very short time ago the finance minister resigns and last Friday in Parliament Curtis Dickinson provided a damning indictment of why he felt it necessary to resign. Premier Burt has remained rather quiet.”
Mr Dunkley added: “The Premier's trusted circle is getting smaller and smaller while Bermuda faces significant challenges.
“All hands must be on deck in dealing with our island challenges and not patching up the Premier's political credibility.”
Ms Ming was one of 12 Progressive Labour Party MPs who did not vote in the House of Assembly last Friday on the controversial legislation to legalise the cultivation, sale and use of cannabis.
Rena Lalgie, the Governor, has warned that the legislation might contravene British international treaty obligations on drugs.
Mr Burt made the Cannabis Licensing Act a flagship of the Government’s legislative programme and warned that if the UK blocked it the island’s relationship with London would be “destroyed”.
Ms Ming, the government MP for St George’s North, was appointed to the post in July 2020 after Wayne Caines was forced to resign in the wake of a row over a party at a restaurant that breached Covid-19 regulations.