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Analysis: David Burt’s premiership rocked by high-level Cabinet departures

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Renée Ming, the former national security minister (File photograph)

Will Renée Ming’s abrupt departure from Cabinet be the latest, lasting sting to David Burt’s premiership?

Mr Burt said he fired the former national security minister – Ms Ming insisted she walked because of multiple disagreements with the head of government.

The rather odd “he said, she said” nature of the event only added to a feeling that the Burt Administration is now buffeted by events, rather than in control of them.

Just weeks after the resignation of Curtis Dickinson as finance minister – just days before the Budget – the opposition within, and without, the Progressive Labour Party appears to be beginning to scent blood in the water.

As always, Oscar Wilde provides us with the perfect maxim – to paraphrase The Importance of Being Earnest transposed to Mr Burt’s Cabinet shenanigans of recent weeks: “To lose one may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose two looks like carelessness.”

And there is a repetitive narrative involved in the Premier’s explanation for such events.

Mr Burt claimed the Cabinet bust-up over the much talked-about $50 million guarantee for the Fairmont Southampton hotel revamp was not the reason for Mr Dickinson’s sudden departure.

Mr Dickinson told the House of Assembly last Friday – Oh, yes it was.

The Premier said he showed Ms Ming the door. Ms Ming, effectively, said, it was her that slammed the door in his face.

All this as the countdown continues to a PLP delegates’ conference in October that could see an attempt to oust Mr Burt as premier.

David Burt, the Premier (File photograph)

Ms Ming has been a popular figure with grassroots PLP members, running a tricky departmental brief – how can you really set a policy agenda on law and order when the constitutional structures of Bermuda mean ultimate control of the police service is in the hands of an unelected governor?

Ms Ming, a St George’s-born mother of three said her father instilled a strong sense of community in her.

She crafted an impressive political career, rising to be the PLP leader in the Senate.

One of a large group of a dozen of the 30 PLP MPs who did not vote for Mr Burt’s flagship Bill to legalise the production and consumption of cannabis last Friday, Ms Ming clearly has her own political lines in the sand.

A member of the Richard Allen AME church, Ms Ming is well regarded in the ruling party.

But with her sudden departure, after a catalogue of missteps by the Government and a Cabinet walkout, will Mr Burt be left playing for time as the clock ticks down to conference time?

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Published March 31, 2022 at 7:49 am (Updated March 31, 2022 at 10:36 am)

Analysis: David Burt’s premiership rocked by high-level Cabinet departures

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