Log In

Reset Password

Stormy caucus precedes tomorrow’s PLP retreat

David Burt, the Premier, and Curtis Dickinson, the former finance minister, minutes after the PLP leadership result was announced in October (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A planned “clear the air” retreat for Progressive Labour Party MPs is hitting stormy weather before it has even begun, The Royal Gazette has learned.

The gathering, scheduled for tomorrow, was intended to be an all-day meeting to try and heal wounds left by last autumn’s fractious PLP leadership battle.

But the scope of the retreat led to pointed discussions at the PLP’s weekly caucus on Wednesday, sources told the The Royal Gazette.

Some MPs are unhappy at what the event, which was decided by the party’s central committee, was intended to focus on.

It follows the October leadership contest which saw David Burt beat Curtis Dickinson, the former finance minister, for the top job, and Walter Roban see off a challenge from Renée Ming, the ex-national security minister, for the deputy position.

A well placed PLP source said: “Some are unhappy it is being pitched by the leadership along the lines of ‘we don’t have to love each other, but we do need to work together’.

“People want to talk about real issues instead and real concerns within the party and Government.

“And there are still grievances left over from the leadership election, there is unhappiness about some of the attacks on Curtis Dickinson and Renée Ming.”

Mr Burt won the October leadership showdown by a margin of 97 to 56 delegate votes, which was closer than expected despite being a clear majority.

In a sometimes tense contest, there were complaints from the Dickinson camp that information about delegates was not being shared readily enough.

Mr Dickinson refused to take part in the first scheduled head-to-head debate after he said assurances made to him about the format of the event had not been kept.

The ex-finance minister was also not allowed to address the PLP conference in October, despite the Premier doing so.

In the last days of the campaign, Mr Dickinson accused the Premier of being a “liar” who was taking Bermuda to “the brink” economically.

Internal PLP tensions were also stoked when the usual pre-Throne Speech retreat did not take place and ministers were instead asked to present the Premier with three policy ideas each that he could either “choose or refuse”.

Another PLP source has compared the atmosphere in the party to that of the fractured relationship between Prince William and Prince Harry.

A spokesman for the PLP said: "The Progressive Labour Party does not discuss the details of internal party meetings in the media."

The Royal Gazette’s print version of this story incorrectly stated the meeting was taking place today – Friday – not tomorrow. We apologise for the error.

UPDATE: This article has been updated to include a comment from the Progressive Labour Party.

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published January 20, 2023 at 7:44 am (Updated January 20, 2023 at 9:13 am)

Stormy caucus precedes tomorrow’s PLP retreat

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon