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Scott considering challenging Roban for PLP deputy leader

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Minister of Transport Lawrence Scott is considering standing for deputy leader of the PLP (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Lawrence Scott, the transport minister, is considering whether to run against Walter Roban, the home affairs minister, for deputy leadership of the Progressive Labour Party, The Royal Gazette has learnt.

In a move that would rock the PLP, Mr Scott said last night he was weighing up whether to try and oust the party veteran at October’s party conference.

Mr Scott, who has described Mr Roban, also the Deputy Premier, as his “mentor”, told The Royal Gazette: “I told colleagues that I was considering it.

“That’s all it is — a consideration.”

Asked if it was true he had announced his stance at a Cabinet meeting in a move that reportedly left Mr Roban “speechless”, Mr Scott said: “I’ve said it multiple places. I can’t talk about what is said at Cabinet.”

Pressed on how Mr Roban had taken the news, the transport minister said: “We have had a conversation.

“He’s helped mentor me. He’s seen the growth.”

Under party rules Mr Scott must declare whether he is standing at least 21 days before the conference, which begins on October 19. If he was successful in his challenge, he would become deputy premier as a consequence.

Walter Roban, the Minister of Home Affairs (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

There has been continued speculation all year that David Burt, the Premier, could face a challenge for the leadership at the gathering.

Mr Burt has faced resistance at some recent party meetings with PLP grass roots.

A senior PLP source said that there were likely to be no other candidates for the deputy post if Mr Scott decides to launch a campaign against Mr Roban.

The source told The Royal Gazette: “Lawrence Scott announced to his Cabinet colleagues that he would be challenging Walter Roban for the deputy leader’s post at the upcoming party conference.

“We are told that deputy leader Roban was left stunned and speechless by the news.

“No other names beyond ministers Scott and Roban have been seriously floated within the party.”

Elections for the leader and deputy leader usually only occur every four years.

Party branches elect delegates depending on how many PLP members they have and they then get to vote in any contest.

The women’s caucus and youth wing also get one delegate each.

Mr Roban, who is also Deputy Premier, is a long-serving member of the party and Cabinet.

He joined the PLP in the late 1980s and was a key organiser of its historic 1998 general election victory.

After serving in the Senate, he became an MP in 2007 and joined the Cabinet two years later as minister without portfolio.

He has also been health minister, environment minister and transport minister.

Mr Scott, the son of former premier Alex Scott, is a graduate of the Florida Air Academy High School, and worked in airlines before becoming an MP in 2012.

No MP has so far declared if they will stand against Mr Burt in October, or if they are considering such a move.

Some of Mr Burt’s recent meetings with party faithful were described as contentious, while others were poorly attended, with members at a gathering in the central parishes reportedly telling the Premier they felt it was time for new leadership.

Mr Roban did not respond to requests for comment by The Royal Gazette.

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Published August 31, 2022 at 7:56 am (Updated September 01, 2022 at 7:41 am)

Scott considering challenging Roban for PLP deputy leader

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