Former Progressive Labour Party election candidate Marcus Jones was today announced as an Opposition senator.

Mr Jones stood for the PLP in the 2012 General Election. But today, he was  appointed as an OBA senator by Opposition Leader Craig Cannonier with Dwayne Robinson.

They join OBA Senate Leader Nick Kempe when parliament reconvenes next week.

Following the announcement, Mr Jones said: he appreciates “the diversity of the OBA”.

“My ideas for economic prosperity are also more in line with the OBA than the PLP.

“A big part, also, is Craig Cannonier. His passion and vision for this country got my attention and prompted me to offer my assistance,” he added.

He was defeated by the OBA’s Susan Jackson in the 2012 General Election. The final count was 654 to 127 votes in Pembroke South West.

A former finance director at several local hotels, Mr Jones has an extensive career in Bermuda’s hospitality industry.

He also noted that he was “concerned for the future of the next generation, having a strong economy that can create jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities and paying off our debt”.

“Despite the challenges facing us, Bermuda has a great future and I see opportunities for Bermuda to reinvent itself, diversify its income streams and reform its immigrations laws to satisfy the wide cross-section of its residents,” he said.

Mr Robinson, 24, also has a background in hospitality, said: ” wanted to get involved because I believe I can bring a different perspective to the political arena and can advocate for the underrepresented younger generation and the arts community.”

Mr Cannonier said: “I have known Dwayne for many years and I have been greatly impressed by his knowledge, enthusiasm and ability.

“Alongside Nick Kempe as Senate leader, Dwayne and Marcus gives us a very talented senate team.”

Meanwhile, Chairwoman of the Progressive Labour Party’s Women’s Caucus, Alexa Lightbourne today acknowledged “the selection of new OBA senators”.

“Marcus resigned from the PLP in 2016. We wish him well as he serves,” she said.

But she questioned the Opposition’s commitment to garner diversity as three women senators, Nandi Outerbridge, Robyn Swan and Victoria Cunningham, were all replaced by men.

“It is unfortunate however, that the One Bermuda Alliance, under Craig Cannonier,  have made senate appointments which show a lack of gender diversity,” said Ms Lightbourne.

“One must wonder if there are no qualified or willing women to serve under Craig cannonier in the Senate as his return to leadership has cut short the political careers of three promising young women in Nandi Outerbridge, Robyn Swan and Victoria Cunningham. 

“In 4 1/2 years the OBA doubled our debt and 2000 jobs were lost.  Public services from busses, to trash collection, and schools were left to suffer while over $100 million was spend on the Americas Cup.