Deputy Premier and National Security Minister Michael Dunkley *File photo
Deputy Premier and National Security Minister Michael Dunkley *File photo

Deputy Premier and National Security Minister Michael Dunkley said he still supported the Premier while deflecting questions about whether he harbored ambitions to assume the post should Craig Cannonier step down amid the ongoing JetGate controversy.

During a press conference this morning, Mr Dunkley was peppered with questions about the JetGate saga, wherein American businessman Nathan Landow and associates wired between $280,000 and $350,000 to the Bermuda Political Action Club, allegedly to aid the OBA, after meeting with Mr Cannonier. Mr Landow had previously been interested in possibly developing a casino in Bermuda. Last week, he told the Bermuda Sun he no longer harbored such interest. Members of the Opposition have raised questions about quid pro quo in the premier's dealings with Mr Landow, something Mr Cannonier has rejected.

Asked today about how the money that was wired to the Bermuda Political Action Club was used, Mr Dunkley said: "I think it would be premature for me to say anything other than to say over the weekend we had a couple meetings that were reported in the media. We had some good discussions. The internal review of that continues. And I suspect that the party chair would be making a statement in about a week."

Asked if he thought the details of how the money in the Bermuda Political Action Club was spent or used, Mr Dunkley said: "I can't speak for the party chair but I do believe people will feel comfortable knowing the information that comes out… the party chair has been very forthright about it all, that he would look into it and reply back. I think people will be fully aware of what took place."

Later, he added, "We'll give the community answers."

Mr Dunkley deflected a question about whether he thought Mr Cannonier should step down. At first he said he wasn't going to answer such an inquiry, before adding he supported the Premier.

"That’s a question that I’m not going to answer today. The Premier is certainly well aware of the challenges that we face. That question should be directed at the Premier. As I said in the House on Friday ,the Premier has my full support. And I’ll continue to do the work of the government and people of Bermuda.”

Mr Dunkley had no comment on whether he wanted to be Premier.

"I don’t have any comment on that at this time. I’m not taking it in a derogatory way, but I think it’s an inappropriate question."