Kenneth Bascome arrives for an OBA meeting of Parliamentarians and executives today. *Photo by Gary Foster Skelton
Kenneth Bascome arrives for an OBA meeting of Parliamentarians and executives today. *Photo by Gary Foster Skelton
7:15pm: The meeting is over. Most of the parliamentarians have left, including Deputy Premier Michael Dunkley and Finance Minister Bob Richards. OBA chairman Thad Hollis and Premier Craig Cannonier are scheduled to make a joint announcement.

6pm: MP Kenny Bascome and Cabinet Minister Trevor Moniz have left the meeting. They would not make any comment and we are not sure if they will return or not. 
After a week of controversy, the One Bermuda Alliance will hold a meeting of Parliamentarians and members of the OBA executive at OBA Headquarters in Hamilton this afternoon.

The OBA members started arriving just shortly after 3pm for their 3:30pm emergency meeting today of parliamentarians and party officials.

Among the first to arrive were chairman Thad Hollis and deputy chair Karen Magnum.

MPS that were early to the meeting included Nandi Davis, Youth and Sports Minister Wayne Scott, Attorney General Mark Pettingill, Trevor Moniz, Senator Michael Fahy and Cole Simmons.

Premier Craig Cannonier drove himself to the meeting and parked right outside OBA headquarters.

Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell arrived with lobbyist Derrick Green.

Most of the MPs and party officials are now there, but one person who is absent is MP Leah Scott. 

The OBA will be issuing a statement after the meeting.

There is some speculation that Premier Craig Cannonier may step down or be asked to step down.

Today’s editorial in the Royal Gazette called for the Premier to resign.

A PLP MP told the Bermuda Sun: “You know the Royal Gazette is not going to sanction an editorial to ask the leader to resign unless the UBP, and I’m saying that on purpose, has decided that’s going to happen.

“This is the proverbial circling of the wagons — the writing is on the wall.”

This comes after the Bermuda Sun revealed on Friday that American Nathan Landow admitted that he along with a group of half-a-dozen real estate developers, builders and entrepreneurs from the greater Washington D.C. area, gave about $300,000 in total to help the OBA’s election campaign in the run-up to the 2012 election. He said there were seven political donors who contributed in the range of $40,000 to $50,000 each. He did not identify the other

Mr Landow said the political contributions were made after an OBA political consultant solicited him for the donations through a Maryland-based lobbyist. After that solicitation, Mr Cannonier flew to the US to meet with Mr Landow and made a pro-jobs, pro-investment pitch, Mr Landow told us.

The money was not wired directly to the OBA campaign, he said. It was wired to a group called the Bermuda Political Action Club. It’s unclear who is behind that organization or how the money was spent.

“We were told that it was campaign contributions and it was what you might say an underground campaign for getting out the vote, getting people to the polls,” Mr Landow said. “… We had absolutely no knowledge of anything or where the money was going to go other than it was campaign contributions and this was some sort of underground campaign.”

Earlier this week, OBA Chairman Thad Hollis announced his party never received any political contributions from Mr Landow. He said the party would launch an internal investigation into the matter.

Last night ZBM news reported that the Bermuda Political Action Club had an account at Butterfield Bank and allegedly the two signatories on the account were not members of the OBA committee nor were they OBA parliamentarians.
Related stories:

• OBA top brass surprised by chairman’s announcement

• ‘Premier not in danger’

• Investigation will help Cannonier, says OBA source

• Viewpoint: Are you happy with Craig Cannonier as Premier?

• Some may not want donations made public

• Bean: Premier should dissolve Parliament

• Former premiers disagree on seriousness of allegations

• JetGate: A timeline

• Jetgate roars on social media


• JetGate: As I see it, codes were broken

• JetGate: It’s a cheap, sordid and murky affair

• JetGate: Mr Premier, I hope it’s not true

• Kudos to journalist Ayo Johnson