OBA: “Disrespectful To Office Of The Speaker”

March 16, 2015

“The public release by MP David Burt of his letter of complaint to the Speaker of the House, the Hon. Randolph Horton, is deeply disrespectful to the office of the Speaker, the Speaker himself, and a self-serving ploy to shift blame,” an OBA spokesperson said.

“The deplorable events of Friday evening and through the weekend are not isolated, but form part of an unacceptable pattern of behaviour and language set by Opposition Leader, Mr. Marc Bean.

“It is vital for the proper conduct of the people’s business that Members of Parliament abide by the rules and conventions of the Legislature. Central to those rules and conventions is for MPs to respect and abide by the rulings of the Speaker. It is, after all, his House and his rulings are final.

“This clearly was not the case on Friday evening, and again on the weekend when MP David Burt questioned the Speaker’s competence and his integrity. We await the Speaker’s statement on this matter,” the OBA concluded.

7 minute excerpt of the exchange, and the Speaker calling for Mr Burt to be removed

This follows after Friday evening’s [Mar 13] session in the House of Assembly saw an exchange on immigration reform result in the Speaker asking for Mr. Burt to be removed from the House, which resulted in all the PLP MPs leaving.

The MPs were discussing an amendment to a motion on immigration reform and the Speaker blocked Mr. Burt from making a point of order on at least two occasions, and eventually asked for Mr. Burt to be removed.

Following the Speaker’s call, Opposition Leader Marc Bean rose and said that Mr Burt had not done anything to be removed from the House, and if that was the case, they would all leave, and the PLP MPs left, and the evening’s session of the House ended shortly after.

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Following the Speaker’s order to eject him from the House, Mr Burt sent a letter to the Speaker saying it is his belief the Speaker’s actions “violated the rights and privileges” that he has as an MP.

The 5-page letter cites various sections of the House of Assembly Standing Orders, and lays out Mr. Burt’s position as to why he feels the decision was not valid.

Mr. Burt’s letter said, “Your action on Friday, March 13, in putting the Attorney General’s amendment to a vote without allowing debate on the amendment, was in contravention of standing orders.

“Furthermore, when I attempted to raise this breach of standing orders via a point of order, which is the prescribed method to point out a breach, you refused to recognise me to speak twice.

“Following those two refusals, you also refused to recognise me on a question of privilege and subsequently ordered the Sergeant at Arms to remove me from the chamber.”

In the letter the Opposition MP noted that he sent it to the media as his “ejection from the House of Assembly on Friday was widely reported and it is only fair they note my objections in full for balance.”

The matter is expected to be brought up again during today’s [Mar 16] sitting of the House of Assembly.

The full letter from Mr Burt to the Speaker is below [PDF here]

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Comments (37)

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  1. smh says:

    So if it is rules to the house, what’s the argument? It’s Either the speaker did his job right or Burt is right and he is incompetent. Let’s get the facts str8 then we can past judgement.

    • What went wrong says:

      Exactly!

      I think its interesting that the OBA haven’t said the speaker is right, they just want to trash the PLP. Endless back and forth. The OBA were in the chamber, if they were being fair they should have supported what was right.

      What is most saddening is this all came from the PLP trying to work together with the OBA and this is how it all ends.

      • aceboy says:

        LOL The PLP do NOT want to work with the OBA….who are you trying to fool?

    • Onion says:

      Or they are both wrong. The Speaker may have been wrong to tell Burt to leave and the PLP may have been wrong to walk out and follow up with this public fracas.

    • wow says:

      Now the OBA are just plain wrong. Trying to stir the pot now? This is what bothers me about politics in Bermuda.

      The PLP have cited lines from various sections of the House of Assembly Standing Orders. The OBA should lead with integrity and go by the same principles of the standing orders. No instead, they choose to show a lack of leadership and integrity and stir the pot. What a disgrace to politics.

  2. Sky Pilot says:

    The Governor needs to step in and take Direct Charge.

    • Mockingjay says:

      The Governor is part of the problems we have in Bermuda with his Anti-Bermudian attitude.

      • Sky Pilot says:

        anti Bermudian ways…have you taken a good look in the mirror

  3. Coffee says:

    Put somebody who knows and understands the rules and who is worthy to be the Speaker of The House ….. End of ..

    • hmmm says:

      Is Burt’s attack on the speaker outside the house within the rules?

      • jt says:

        ‘This place is a den of vipers and I’m gonna take you all out.’

    • A Better Bermuda says:

      you mean someone like you of Mockingjay? SMH

    • sebring says:

      I could not agree with you more !That is why no one ever associated with the plp should ever be in any position of power!!!!!

      • Mockingjay says:

        That’s what the Racist Regime of the Oligarchy were saying, WAIT they’re still around just under a different name.

  4. navin johnson says:

    When you listen to the exchange between Burt and the Speaker and then Bean jumping in you realize it was an orchestrated attempt to railroad the debate..Burt sounds childish in his letter..I rose and was told to sit,,I rose again and was told to sit…the PLP seems bent on delay and focus on procedures rather than getting Bermuda out of the DEPRESSION not recession brought about by their policies and lack of understanding of basic economic policy…

  5. Sad says:

    Completely disrespectful to issue the letter publicly before receiving a response from the Speaker.

    If Burt did not receive what he believes to be an adequate response then he should have made the letter public.

    This is simply an attack on the Speaker position.

    But then again this is the same Party the believes they have the right to issue threats to those the don’t think like them.

  6. Kangoocar says:

    Everything the plp does is deplorable???

  7. Well, here it is, Monday morning (3/16/2015) and we the people are anxious…We want to find out all the, “who’s, what’s, where and why’s”. If’s the Law, (which by the way it appears to me to be) then the Speaker Mr. Randy Horton had been in his rights to evict out of the “House” P.L.P. Minister David Burt for refusing to sit down when asked three times but failed to do so. In which case he / the Opposition Party / all who’d walked out of the “House” following the sulking Leader of the Progressive Labour Party, Mr. Marc Bean, who had by the way made some “extremely unprofessional remarks” as he’d walked out…Sad yes, but true :-(

    • What went wrong says:

      You should read the letter, Burt sat down.

    • wow says:

      Raymond, you type of a lot of garbage on these forums. Every time I see posts from people like you. I dislike the OBA more and more. I can’t stand biased people especially those who write childish remarks like yourself.

      • Excuse me, but who’s this “wow” character? As far as what you think of me, personally don’t give a crap about for that is your choice, rights and opinion.

        • Mockingjay says:

          U.B.P./oba are Pathetic and a Disgrace.

          • Barracuda says:

            My goodness , we are in blogging overdrive aren’t we . You must be getting time and one half. You are one of those people who love to hear themselves speak , and think that what you say is wonderful . BWAHAHAHAHA

  8. UmJustSaying says:

    R E S P E C T the C H A I R

  9. MAKE MY DAY says:

    I lost ALL respect for the PLP – about 50 yrs ago as have most clear-headed thinking onions!! They “proved” just what they were all about for that 14 yr period – when they just about bankrupted the Island!!

    And still NO answers as to where ALL that $$$ went!! Why have there NOT been investigations from the “fraud squad” at new Scotland Yard?? What are they afraid of finding-out?? Two+ BILLION $$$ in-the-hole for a tiny Island and NO explanations!!

  10. Vote for Me says:

    For good or for bad, we need the likes of John Barritt to opine.

    The public should be provided with more clarity, absent the emotive party political posts that we see thus far.

  11. watching says:

    Oh Please OBA.
    If anyone is disrespectful to the position of Speaker, it is the Speaker himself. He constantly tries to bully MPs in the House. He needs to go.
    MP Burt did nothing wrong in this circumstance.
    Speaker Horton needs to acknowledge his deficiencies and act in accordance.

  12. Just a matter of time says:

    How is it that anything the PLP does or says today always has to point back to blaming them for the recession? “The sky is cloudy today. Oh it’s the PLP’ s fault because of the recession!” We’re discussing HOA rules here and the Speaker ended up being wrong. The Speaker is PLP as well and yes he’s in an impartial role now but the OBA hides behind any opportunity to trash the PLP even erroneous actions by the Speaker. They never once addressed the full clarity of the rules which is for the benefit of everyone but instead use this fiasco to stoke the fires and further their own agenda. Disgusting. MP Burt ended up being right after all. The OBA didn’t catch this error! What do the OBA and supporters say now?? I’m sure they will bring up the recession again as a counter argument. Disgusting. The debate still needs to take place to restablish House integrity and let democracy take its course.

    • Mockingjay says:

      You haven’t heard, the white mans ice is colder, always was and always will be in their eyes.
      Nothing personal its world wide.

  13. Never Never says:

    Why am I not surprised the OBA didn’t stand and say something they knew the speaker made a mistake but still didn’t say anything. It’s really sad that the government will do anything and everything to cheat Bermuda out of a fair process on immigration OBA vipers is true to your DNA you prove this daily SMDH

  14. campervan says:

    you may not agree with the referee
    But on the pitch the refs word is the law
    Otherwise its just anarchy and the shoutiest side wins.
    If you feel the need, then have a chat with the referee about your concerns in the bar afterwards.
    but DO NOT derail our method of democracy because you didn’t get what you want.

    • Mockingjay says:

      The LAW, like Apartheid and Jim Crow was the Law but that didn’t make it right.
      I’m glad strong men are standing up against botched decisions, if not we would still be in chains.

      • serengeti says:

        So you’re ok with the rules not being followed? That means you have nothing to complain about. Whether the rules were followed or not is irrelevant to you.

  15. Alvin Williams says:

    Well one thing a decision on the cricket field can be reviewed on camera as to if one is out or not; at least in the big leagues that is. No wonder the speaker was upset over the idea of cameras in parliament; maybe we should such a system in place in Bermuda’s parliament to monitor his decisions.

  16. Legal Eagle says:

    This issue is NOT about political views or loyalties!! The Speaker is like a Judge in a Court Case! Basics: Once he’s Ruled(rightly or wrongly)-the arguements must end or the Court Case can/will never end!-for eternity?? Burt’s entitled to disagree-but not to keep standing up argueing about a Ruling already made!!-+ effectively stop the House from EVER proceeding on with the peoples business—-for INFINITY??? It’s the Speaker’s job to stop THAT from happening-+remove ANY Member who prevents it!!