Motivation: Marc Bean says the Premier should not have misrepresented his position on the referendum. *File photo
Motivation: Marc Bean says the Premier should not have misrepresented his position on the referendum. *File photo

Opposition leader Marc Bean has vowed to stay on the attack until Government “comes clean” on the decision to jettison the gaming referendum.

Renewing calls for the Premier to resign, he said he had “no regrets” over the way he had raised claims of unethical behaviour against Craig Cannonier.

And he said it was the OBA’s move to “take Bermudians for granted” — and not his decision to raise the allegations in the House last Friday — that had damaged the island’s “jurisdictional reputation”.

Mr Bean has claimed the Premier told him that he and two cabinet colleagues, Mark Pettingill and Shawn Crockwell, had been offered payment by a developer for a casino licence.

Mr Cannonier has dismissed these claims as “simply untrue”.

But despite news he may face legal action for his comments, the Opposition leader said he would continue to press the Premier for answers on events surrounding the decision to abandon the referendum.

He told the Bermuda Sun in an interview yesterday: “Last December the Premier told the House of a private conversation we had in which he misrepresented my position.

“His claim that the PLP would boycott the referendum was not just a lie, it was an attack on my personal intelligence and integrity.

“It was only proper and right that I gave a response in Parliament.

“The only difference was that I gave a true account in their presence.”

Mr Bean added: “You can’t take the public for granted, and you can not break promises without an apology and a justification.

“We are considering a vote of no confidence in the Premier and his Government.

“And it is possible that the people will just rise up and say enough is enough and use people power to force the Government’s hand.

“As long as that action is non-violent and does not harm person or property I would encourage it as I would at any time.

“That is their right and as politicians we serve at their will and pleasure.”

Mr Bean’s allegations centre around a meeting he had with the Premier last September to discuss the gambling referendum.

On Friday he told the House that the Premier had told him that he and two cabinet colleagues had been offered payment by a developer for a casino licence.

Yesterday Mr Bean confirmed he had made his caucus aware of the meeting and the Premier’s alleged comments. 

But he said neither he nor the party chose to report the matter to police because it was a “private conversation” between the two party leaders.

He said: “You come across a lot of things in politics — sometimes they are unethical, sometimes they border on illegal and sometimes it is normal.

“This would probably never have been brought up this way if the Premier had not misrepresented my position on the gaming referendum.”

Mr Bean said his party remained united behind him and dismissed claims made earlier this week by the Premier that the PLP was hellbent on bringing the OBA down.

He said: “That is a fallacy. What is at stake here is our jurisdictional reputation. If our RFP [Request for Proposal] process is tainted or deals are not seen to be done above board developers will not invest capital in Bermuda.

“The PLP is holding Government to account and the greatest risk we are facing in terms of casinos is if developers having private meetings with the Premier is seen as being part of the business process.

“It puts the whole process into disrepute. That is the behaviour that will turn capital away and ultimately Bermuda suffers.”

The Bermuda Sun reached out to Premier Cannonier for comment on this story, and to rebut some of the claims that have not been addressed in OBA press statements this week, but no response was forthcoming. 


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