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Peets admits disappointment over loss of ministerial and Senate posts

Former minister of youth, culture and sport, the Ernest Peets (Photograh by Akil Simmons)

A former minister has said he felt “disappointed“ at the timing of his removal from the Senate by David Burt.

The Premier replaced Ernest Peets in the Upper Chamber last Thursday – a move which came shortly after he lost his roles as Minister for Youth, Culture and Sport and Government leader in the Senate last month.

It came in the wake of Mr Burt’s re-election as Progressive Labour Party leader when he defeated former finance minister, Curtis Dickinson, although the Premier has denied suggestions that he dropped Dr Peets, and demoted Lawrence Scott, the former transport minister, from the Cabinet because he felt they did not support him enough in the race for the PLP leadership.

Speaking about being removed from the Senate, Dr Peets told The Royal Gazette: “I guess the disappointment is more about the timing.

“We did a good job. But, the let-down for me was the timing. You serve at someone’s pleasure. I did not expect to keep this appointment for ever.”

Asked who he backed in the PLP leadership tussle, Dr Peets said: “I could have worked with either or candidate.”

Dr Peets said he was proud of his two years in the Senate and his time in Cabinet.

On the day Dr Peets was replaced in the Senate by Leslie Robinson, the Premier insisted it was because he was “changing the team”.

Asked if Dr Peets and Mr Scott had lost their jobs because of the leadership campaign, Mr Burt said: “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.”

Mr Scott also described disappointment and surprise at his demotion to the back bench following Mr Burt’s re-election as party leader by 97 delegate votes to 56.

After the win, the former transport minister’s father, Alex Scott, the ex-PLP premier, said that Mr Burt should try to come across as less of an “autocrat”.

Mrs Robinson was also given the roles of junior minister for Labour and the Economy, and for Public Works.

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Published November 22, 2022 at 7:54 am (Updated November 22, 2022 at 7:54 am)

Peets admits disappointment over loss of ministerial and Senate posts

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