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‘Tense’ feeling within OBA as party feels ‘anxiety and pain’ over direction

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Jarion Richardson, the One Bermuda Alliance deputy leader (Photograph supplied).

The atmosphere in the One Bermuda Alliance is “tense” as people feel “anxiety and pain” about the direction of the party, according to deputy leader Jarion Richardson.

The Royal Gazette understands things came to a head at the weekly caucus meeting of MPs, senators, candidates and officials on Tuesday.

The tension within the top tier of the party appears to centre on moves to revamp the OBA and examine its policy direction.

Mr Richardson told The Royal Gazette: “The party is changing and growing, so there is always going to be some degree of resistance or pain.

“There is not general discontentment, more like an unease, or anxiety.

“I wouldn’t say I’m glad about it, but it shouldn’t be a surprise when an organisation is changing so rapidly that it’s not going to be cookie-cutter time.

“When you’re changing an organisation, maybe some people will feel anxious.

“There is no scrap – just because something is tense it doesn’t mean it’s a fight.

“We are changing the way the party operates, which information gets escalated to whom and how members can have a much more direct role.

“But, I think the party is on the same page.”

Cole Simons, One Bermuda Alliance leader (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A well-placed OBA source said: “I wouldn’t really call it a fight at the caucus – there was no cursing.

“There’s a young, aggressive group that wants to see things move in a much swifter way.

“Some people are saying should we go left as opposed to being on the middle road?”

The comments came ahead of the OBA’s annual meeting today.

The Royal Gazette reported last month on discontent in the OBA regarding Cole Simons’s style of leadership.

At the time, Mr Richardson said: “There is no perfect leader, unfortunately. There are things that he could do better. He is what we need at the moment.

“He is calm, steady and knows the political process. Very experienced.”

Some sources within the party called on Mr Simons to raise his media profile and present a sharper edge when delivering political points against David Burt, the Premier.

The party’s AGM, which is closed to the media, will not include votes for top positions because the senior positions on the party’s executive are not being contested.

The party took a battering at the General Election two years ago when it was reduced to only six MPs compared with the Progressive Labour Party’s tally of 30.

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Published October 16, 2022 at 4:19 pm (Updated October 16, 2022 at 4:19 pm)

‘Tense’ feeling within OBA as party feels ‘anxiety and pain’ over direction

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