Marc Bean *File photo
Marc Bean *File photo

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22: New PLP leader Marc Bean today pledged: “We’ll be back.”

Mr Bean – elected to Parliament in a by-election just two years ago after former Premier Dr Ewart Brown stepped down – added: “We will come back and rebuild the party from the grassroots up via the branches and we’re going to focus on economic empowerment under our philosophy of ‘doing for self’.

“And we’re going to seek to make every organ of the party functional and relevant.”

Mr Bean said the party would take a break over Christmas and the New Year to “relax and use it for a period of reflection.”

Mr Bean was speaking after he beat off a challenge from veteran Terry Lister to take the top PLP job.

He said: “We will certainly have a post-mortem on this last election cycle to see where we can improve and where we went wrong.

“We will learn from our mistakes and not repeat our mistakes.

“No doubt about it – we will be back, not just for the sake of winning power back, but to take our governance to a much higher level and meeting the expectations of our people.

“Even though we lost, we are convinced that the Progressive Labour Party represents the best political vehicle to achieve these goals of economic competition and social cooperation.”

Mr Bean replaces ex-Premier Paula Cox who resigned after the PLP defeat in Monday’s General Election – and represents a clean break from the past of a party, which saw a string of long-serving and high profile members lose their seats last week or stand down before the election.

Mr Bean was elected to the House of Assembly almost exactly two years ago following a two-year stint in the Senate.

He was appointed to the post of Environment Minister by then Premier Paula Cox in November, 2011.

He had previously served as junior Minister for Telecommunications, E-Commerce and Energy, and earlier held the porfolios of Tourism, Transport, Environment and Sport in the Upper House.

Mr Bean is a qualified pilot and air traffic controller and previously worked in the Department of Marine and Ports and as the recruitment and enrollment manager in the Mirrors programme.

Former Transport Minister Derrick Burgess will remain as deputy leader of the party.