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Peets out as PLP senator, replaced by Leslie Robinson

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The new Government senator Leslie Robinson, who was sworn it at a ceremony at Government House, with the Governor, Rena Lalgie. (Photograph Akil Simmons).

Ernest Peets, the former minister, has departed the Senate as David Burt named a new Progressive Labour Party member of the Upper Chamber.

The Premier announced that Leslie Robinson replaced Dr Peets at a swearing-in ceremony at Government House yesterday where she was also given roles as the Junior Minister of Economy and Labour and Public Works.

Dr Peets lost his posts as Government leader of the Senate and the Minister for Youth, Culture and Sport during a Cabinet reshuffle held in the wake of Mr Burt’s re-election as PLP leader last month in which he was replaced by Owen Darrell.

When the Premier was asked if the departure of Dr Peets from the Senate and the firing of Lawrence Scott from the Cabinet took place because he did not think the two men supported him enough in the leadership race, Mr Burt told a press conference: “Certainly not. And, I don’t want it to be regarded as that.

“As I expressed to my parliamentary caucus, one of the most difficult things about being leader of the party is that you have to make difficult decisions when it comes to changing the team.

“And, so, from this perspective, it’s nothing in regards to that. It is about looking forward.”

After the reshuffle, Dr Peets said he had believed he would remain in his Cabinet post for at least another year.

Dr Peets told The Royal Gazette at the time: “These changes, of course, I’ve been made to understand, do happen from time to time.

Ernest Peets, the former Minister of Youth, Culture and Sports and Government senate leader. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

“I wasn’t aware with any significant advance notice that a Cabinet reshuffle was going to occur, but I would imagine, given the situation of the last couple of weeks with the leadership challenge and other things, perhaps those people who are more astute politically would have sort of expected a change to come.”

Mrs Robinson is the Senior Vice President – Head of Underwriting and Claims at Willis Towers Watson.

She has more than 33 years’ experience in the financial services sector in Bermuda, with 22 years in captive management and broking and 11 years as a financial services regulator.

She earned a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from Emory University and is also an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute of London. She was appointed a Justice of the Peace for Bermuda in 2008.

At the swearing-in ceremony, Mrs Robinson remembered the battle her parents faced with segregation.

She said: “I think of my own parents, the late Lawrence Lancelot Clarke and the late Jean Tucker Clarke who had to navigate through the many pressures of segregation and worked hard with purpose to have successful careers at the old Bank of Bermuda and BTC respectively.

Junior Minister of Economy and Public Works Leslie Robinson, David Burt, the Premier and Junior Minister for Youth, Culture and Sport Kim Swan. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

“And so that principle of working hard with clarity of purpose has been passed down to me.

“Whether it has been working hard as an insurance professional to service the needs of my clients, working as a regulator to help with protecting the reputation of Bermuda as a leading insurance centre, working as part of my PLP Constituency 32 branch executive, listening to concerns of our people and helping to find solutions to address their needs, or working in my beloved AME Church, serving on many boards to assist with the running of my local church at Bethel in Shelly Bay, our Bermuda Conference and the connectional levels of our church.“

Kim Swan, a former United Bermuda Party leader and now a PLP MP, was appointed as the Junior Minister for Youth, Culture and Sport at the ceremony.

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Published November 18, 2022 at 8:03 am (Updated November 18, 2022 at 8:03 am)

Peets out as PLP senator, replaced by Leslie Robinson

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