Premier Craig Cannonier. *Photo by Glenn Tucker
Premier Craig Cannonier. *Photo by Glenn Tucker

*Photos by Glenn Tucker

One Bermuda Alliance leader Craig Cannonier has survived a crisis meeting of his party in the wake of the JetGate controversy.

OBA chairman Thad Hollis told the media: “We had a great meeting, we are working as a team. We are working through some difficult issues. The inquiry of still ongoing. When concluded we will have a statement. We have nothing more to say. 

Premier Cannonier added: "We had a good meeting. I’m glad we had it and we will continue to work on this inquiry."

A joint meeting of MPs and the party executive confirmed its support in a lengthy meeting today.

And it comes after days of intense speculation over his leadership of the country after a string of new revelations surrounding the JetGate saga and his dealings with US businessman Nathan Landow.

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. Mr Landow told us 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 named two signatories —an OBA consultant and a business associate of Craig Cannonier’s.

Additional reporting by Danny McDonald