Sylvan Richards Apologizes To MP David Burt

April 26, 2016

[Updated] Following erroneous statements he made in an opinion column on Bernews earlier this week, MP Sylvan Richards has apologized to MP David Burt and said he withdraws the remarks.

Mr Richards said Mr Burt was engaging in “deceptive” use of employment statistics claiming he didn’t use the most recent employment statistics in his budget reply this year, however Mr Richards’ column was incorrect, as he was actually quoting Mr Burt’s budget reply from last year – not his 2016 reply.

In the public apology addressed to Mr Burt, Sylvan Richards said, “It has been brought to my attention that information notes I used in an article I wrote on the PLP and the Economy were based on the 2015/16 Reply to the Budget and not the 2016/17 Reply as stated in the article. I apologize for the error and withdraw the remarks.”

We asked Mr Burt for comment on Mr Richards statement and will update if able.

Update: Mr Burt said, “As the Bermuda economy continues to struggle and employment opportunities remain limited, it is regrettable that OBA writer Mr. Gavin Shorto and OBA MP Sylvan Richards choose to spend their time writing false attacks rather that attempting to engage in constructive discussion about ideas for economic growth and diversification.

“This is not the first public apology issued by MP Sylvan Richards for something he said, but it is particularly ironic that the article published in his name accused me of using old statistics, when in fact he was using old and incorrect information.

“Furthermore the language used was clearly intended to call into question the veracity of my public statements.

  • “But true to form MP David Burt of the Progressive Labour Party didn’t use the most recent 2015 figures in his Budget Reply last month. He used the 2014 Labour Force Survey.”
  • “Mr Burt’s selective use of employment statistics is deceptive.”
  • “If the most recent figure is available, a responsible politician ought to use it. Not to do so is, in effect, telling a lie with the intent of deceiving the public.”

“This habit of making and retracting statements is becoming form for the OBA communications team and MP Sylvan Richards in particular. In my opinion a “responsible politician” verifies his facts and doesn’t allow his name to be used for an article that is “telling a lie with the intent of deceiving the public.”

“It is also important to note that I have not heard from MP Richards personally, and the apology was sent to me from Mr. Gavin Shorto who said, “I was the writer who provided Sylvan Richards with the notes from which he wrote the article that Bernews pulled from its pages this morning. You are right – I worked from the wrong version of your Throne Speech Reply [SIC]. I would like to apologise to you completely and unreservedly. I am ashamed of myself.”

“Bermuda deserves much better than this. Bermudians deserve a mature discussion about ideas and a discussion regarding competing visions for economic growth. We need to be discussing how our government can better serve the needs of our people and ensuring that we build a more fair and just society in which Bermudians feel they have a future.

“While we have teachers protesting in the streets, we should be discussing how we improve our public education system ensuring our children are be prepared for future success.

“It is our party’s sincere hope that going forward, MP Richards will use his name to discuss plans that make Bermuda a better place for his kids and mine.”

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Comments (11)

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  1. Ronnie Viera says:

    It is always decent to admit an error and apologize. David Burt should apologize for the misinformation he is spreading about the new airport development but we know he would never do so!

    • Really Really Bettty says:

      “Bermuda deserves much better than this. Bermudians deserve a mature discussion about ideas and a discussion regarding competing visions for economic growth. We need to be discussing how our government can better serve the needs of our people and ensuring that we build a more fair and just society in which Bermudians feel they have a future.”

      Keep Standing Strong….the Brilliance of Burt….we must stop with this back and forward written pieces…..a chess piece that is not needed or required…..the People deserve much much more….

  2. “Give them an inch and they’ll attempt taking a mile”
    M. P. Sylvan Richards you were not wrong in the statement but it’s the year which was incorrect. Why is this character attempting to convince the public otherwise? Get real Mr. David Burt :-(

  3. Ronnie Viera says:

    David, at least there was an apology. Rarely if ever have you or anyone else in your party apologized for anything. You are spreading inaccurate information about the airport project but I haven’t seen a correction or apology for that nor do I expect to see one.

  4. get real says:

    Sylvan is doing a pack. But he messed with the wrong guy in Burt, He checks his facts.

  5. Ronnie Viera says:

    Clearly hasn’t checked all of his facts with the airport!

  6. Gcode4lyfe says:

    Sylvan go back to working Allied World because you don’t have a clue what’s going on in politics brother. Stick to make Bermuda a better place than trying to belittle the Opposition!!

  7. Truth Teller says:

    Gavin Shorto should be ashamed of himself. An old tired UBP hack who is now an old OBA hack.

    Is it not amazing how they all migrated to this so called new party named the OBA.

    What do the two party’s have in common: they both were and remain determined to ensure that the privileges that the Gavin Shortos’ of Bermuda have enjoyed for generations remains.

  8. Need Peace says:

    These OBA diehards are loyal as the day is long! The IBA has yet to do ANYTHING right yet they still get blind faith! This government is running this Island like a chicken with no head!! It’s time to say when folks!!!