When asked if the move was a preemptive strike by the One Bermuda Alliance to perhaps avert a vote of 'no confidence' in the House of Assembly on Friday, Mr Dunkley replied: "I don't look at it that way." *Photo by Glenn Tucker
When asked if the move was a preemptive strike by the One Bermuda Alliance to perhaps avert a vote of 'no confidence' in the House of Assembly on Friday, Mr Dunkley replied: "I don't look at it that way." *Photo by Glenn Tucker

The OBA Government is safe.

This from Bermuda’s new Premier Michael Dunkley as he announced his intention to lead the country.

Earlier this evening Mr Dunkley named as interim Premier after Craig Cannonier tendered his resignation.

He is due be officially sworn in as Premier on Tuesday, at Government House.

Governor George Fergusson, issued the following statement at 11.30pm on Monday: “The Hon Michael Dunkley has informed me, following a meeting of his party colleagues, of his intention to form a Government. I am satisfied that Mr Dunkley is best able to command the confidence of a majority of the members of the House of Assembly. I have asked Mr Dunkley to continue in the role of Acting Premier, pending a formal swearing in as Premier of Bermuda tomorrow morning [Tuesday].”

Mr Dunkley told media that the change in leadership would not jeopardize the Government and he had the “100 per cent support” of his party. He did acknowledge, however, that one OBA MP was not been present at Cabinet Office this evening. 

Mr Dunkley said: “As you are probably aware, Craig Cannonier has stepped down as Premier.

“I have just had a meeting with my Parliamentary Colleagues.

“They have supported me going forward.

“I was signed in an hour ago as acting Premier, I am now going back up to Government House to be sworn in as Premier.”

When asked if the move was a preemptive strike by the One Bermuda Alliance to perhaps avert a vote of 'no confidence' in the House of Assembly on Friday, he replied: "I don't look at it that way."

Mr Dunkley added: “The OBA’s election of leader and deputy is decided by votes of members.

“That will take place this summer and everyone is allowed to challenge me. If I lose I will step down.”

Asked if he wanted to continue as Premier he said: “Most certainly I want to.”

Flanked by Ministers Mark Pettingill and Shawn Crockwell on the steps of the Cabinet Office, Mr Dunkley revealed that Craig Cannonier and would be leaving the island to take a holiday tomorrow [Tuesday].

He said: Perhaps it is important to mention that Craig and I are good friends so this was not only difficult for him but difficult for me too. He will be remaining as a constituency MP. 

“My deputy has not been announced.

“The Cabinet remains unchanged and the Senate remains unchanged.”

Mr Crockwell said that lessons had been learned in the wake of the JetGate saga, and described Mr Cannonier’s decision to step down as “magnanimous”.

He added: “Clearly we have all learned lessons.

“Right now we are focused on the business of the country and taking the country forward.”

Asked if he felt vindicated he replied: “There is nothing to feel vindicated for.”