Nick Kempe, OBA Former Senate Leader & Shadow Minister of Finance

One Bermuda Alliance Senate leader Nick Kempe has decided to pack it in and throw in the towel in terms of politics.

The Shadow Minister of Finance disclosed on Friday that he has decided to quit politics in Bermuda, to pursue new opportunities abroad. And he is moving to Spain.

“As a result of an opportunity overseas, I will no longer be able to directly lend my energy, work and thoughts to political public service,” he said.

“Since becoming politically active in 2011, I have served Bermuda in various capacities from parish councils and government boards as well as the One Bermuda Alliance from caucus chair through to senator.

“I was not able to perform any of these roles alone. Accordingly, I would like to thank all those who advised me and gave their time or financial support during election campaigns and other endeavours.

“I would also like to thank all those who welcomed me into their homes and shared their perspectives, hopes and fears about Bermuda,” he added.

The former president of family shipping firm Bermuda Forwarders, also thanked OBA leader Craig Cannonier for “bringing me back into the OBA fold and showing so much confidence in me”.

The OBA announced that he will be replaced by Marcus Jones as Senate leader and Jarion Richardson, the head of regulatory and compliance firm Certainty, would join the Senate team.

Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, who sits in the House of Assembly, will be the new Shadow Finance Minister.

Mr Kempe added: “I would like to see Bermuda prosper in a way that benefits all through the empowerment of those that need a hand up as opposed to tearing down those deemed as enemies. I would like to see a more tolerant Bermuda of those that look, think or love differently.

“I would like to see a political environment that is more welcoming and collaborative, where not only those immune to bullying can thrive.

“Marcus will do a great job in the leading the Senate and Mr Richardson is an excellent appointment.”

OBA leader Craig Cannonier said: “Nick has been an extraordinary servant to both the OBA and the people of Bermuda and, as Senate Leader for the OBA, he has been a consistent thorn in the side of the Government. I hope that this is more a case of ‘au revoir’ than goodbye.

“There will always be a place for Nick Kempe within the OBA leadership team.

“However, we now look to the future and I have every confidence that Marcus will continue to hold this Government’s feet to the fire in the Senate. I am also delighted to welcome Mr Richardson to the OBA family. With Dwayne Robinson, we have a fine Senate team.”

Mr Richardson is a former police officer, who served in the intelligence department. He also served in the Royal Bermuda Regiment, including overseas attachments with the British Army and later worked at law firm Appleby and the Bermuda Monetary Authority. He started Certainty in 2016.

Mr Richardson said: “The country is contending with an oversized debt, crippling healthcare costs, cost-of-living and a failed immigration policy. Multiply that with an as-yet unresolved racial heritage and crumbling social institutions.

“In the future, my daughters will ask what role I played in the hard decisions to be made in the present. I don’t have an answer yet, so I’ve joined the Senate to make one.”