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Cole Simons insists he is not threatened as OBA leader

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The Royal Gazette sits down with Cole Simons, the leader of the One Bermuda Alliance (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Cole Simons has insisted that he does not feel threatened by the deputy leader of One Bermuda Alliance, Jarion Richardson, but admits he may have “deficiencies” as head of the party.

Asked about comments from Mr Richardson that he could do some things better, Mr Simons said his “ego” does not need him to be centre of attention.

Pressed on discontent among some OBA figures about Mr Simons leadership style, he told The Royal Gazette: “They have not brought it to my attention, and my style is different from David Burt’s, and other people.

“My style is about consensus building, and building a strong team. My ego doesn’t require me to be out front.

“As a leader, I want to develop all of my shadow ministers.”

He added: “I am one among equals, if I should leave tomorrow I would want to know that I have prepared any one of my shadow ministers to be the leader of the party.

“And, so, it’s about building the team and giving them exposure – I make no apology for that.

“Do I have to be out front? No. I prefer to develop other people to be in leadership roles.

“And, I am not going to let my ego get in the way of that.”

Asked if he found Mr Richardson’s comments unhelpful, Mr Simons said: “Not at all. It’s not my ego. If he can do something better – bring it to the table because what I want is what’s best for the community.

“So, I am not threatened by people who say they can do things better – bring it to the table for the best interests of the community.

“I have no problem with that because we all bring different talents to the table.

“I have strengths in one area, I may have deficiencies in another,” he said. “We bring different talents. Jarion brings his journalism background, his security background … he is a military person, and he is a clear thinker, he is methodical, he likes the detail, and, so, that will complement me because, at some point, I’m not a detail person.

“And, so, this is where we bounce off of each other as a team. I don’t have all the answers, and this is why we have a diverse group.”

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

Asked about Mr Richardson’s claim that there were “tensions” with the OBA, Mr Simons said: “I welcome discussion.”

Mr Simons said he would lead the OBA into the next election, but when asked if he would serve a full term as leader after that, he said: “I’ll do my best. I can’t give you a guarantee, we don’t even know when the next election is.

“I’ll put in my best efforts, and we’ll see when the next election comes.

“I would do my best, and if I had the support of the then MPs who are successful, I would consider it.

“But, they may say it’s time to have a change and fresh blood. And, that is their right to do so.”

Asked why he wanted to be Premier, Mr Simons said: “I would bring to the table principled leadership. I would also bring … a sense of humility and my ability to listen, and build consensus.”

Pressed regarding whether that comment meant he did not think the current Premier was principled, Mr Simons said: “From my perspective, we can do better, much better.

“Misrepresenting situations … smooth, oily tongues are very confident, very confusing, sometimes.

“He (David Burt) is smart, and he is very smart politically. But, we cannot confuse eloquence with principled and intelligent leadership. There’s always room for improvement.”

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Published December 09, 2022 at 7:55 am (Updated December 09, 2022 at 7:55 am)

Cole Simons insists he is not threatened as OBA leader

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