Opposition leader Marc Bean said Terry Lister resigning from the party “doesn’t make too much of a difference. We obviously have lost from our ranks a very seasoned politician, an excellent debater and a person who can make a massive contribution to our legislative ability in the House.”
* File Photo
Opposition leader Marc Bean said Terry Lister resigning from the party “doesn’t make too much of a difference. We obviously have lost from our ranks a very seasoned politician, an excellent debater and a person who can make a massive contribution to our legislative ability in the House.” * File Photo

Opposition leader Marc Bean today denied his party had split along age lines after the shock resignation of PLP veteran Terry Lister.

Sandys South MP Mr Lister quit the PLP to sit as an independent — and said that his marginalization by the party leadership had played a major role in his decision.

But Mr Bean said: “In terms that there is any divide between the old and the young, that’s clearly a person who is intent on dividing the PLP in order to rule. It’s divide and rule.”

Mr Bean said that 75 per cent of the people at a recent election ‘thank you’ party thrown by the PLP had been over the age of 50.

And he said: “My job is to ensure that there is a strong link between our older generation and our younger generation.”

Mr Lister’s decision to sit as an independent widens the gap between the ruling OBA and the PLP to 19-15 following the decision of another party veteran, Randy Horton, to take up the role of Speaker — against the wishes of the party.

But Mr Bean said: “From a Parliamentary strategy perspective, it doesn’t make too much of a difference. We obviously have lost from our ranks a very seasoned politician, an excellent debater and a person who can make a massive contribution to our legislative ability in the House.”

He added: “If Mr Lister has any feelings, he is certainly entitled to them — I can’t judge his feelings. We wish him well — in a nutshell, I wish him well.”

Mr Lister said that he felt snubbed by Mr Bean after he was offered the Shadow Finance Minister role, which he declined after several days’ thought, although he offered to serve in another Shadow role.

But he added that the Shadow Cabinet — unknown to him – had already been announced before he communicated his decision to Mr Bean.

Mr Lister — who lost out to Mr Bean in the post-election leadership battle — also told the House of Assembly he had been shocked and hurt by the “hostility” from delegates at the leadership vote.

But Mr Bean said he was focused on winning back the stay-at-home voters who did not turn out for the PLP, but did not vote for the OBA either.

He added: “We are going from strength to strength. I’m very positive and pleased with the qualities of the MPs I have on my team in the House and the Senate.

“We don’t have the numbers, but qualitatively, I think we’re stronger than the One Bermuda Alliance.”