Once fired and now rehired, Progressive Labour Party MP Michael Weeks has made back in the fold as the new Minister of National Security, with Vance Campbell announced as the Minister of Tourism.

Premier David Burt has decided to retain responsibility for the Ministry of Finance.

The two new Ministers were sworn in at Government House yesterday in the wake of the departures of Curtis Dickinson and Renée Ming.

“I am pleased to welcome Minister Vance Campbell and to welcome back Minister Michael Weeks to the Cabinet,” said the Premier.

“These are challenging times in which to serve, so I thank them for agreeing to take up this challenge, firstly in their devoted work from the backbench and now for their willingness to enter a new chapter of public service as Ministers of the Government.

“Both of them speak to the depth of talent available within the ranks of the Bermuda Progressive Labour Party.

“I look forward to working with them as we build on the people-centred economic recovery and social renewal that is critical to Bermuda’s success.”

He also noted that Mr Weeks “is a strong, grassroots community leader with over 20 years’ experience in residential treatment services”.

“One of the major challenges that we face in Bermuda is the increasing violence in our community, and Minister Weeks’ work and life experiences will equip him well in this role as he dedicates full- time attention as Minister of National Security in this new chapter of his public service.

“As I said in my statement on Wednesday, I do wish to thank the former Minister of National Security, MP Renée Ming for her service,” he added.

“She has been a powerful voice for St George’s and I look forward to her continued effective representation of her constituents and her contribution to the Government’s work from the backbench.”

While speaking at Government House, Premier Burt also took another swipe at the daily newspaper, in follow up to an open-door clinic he held in his constituency on Saturday.

“After a week of such sensational headlines, I prepared myself to address questions about leadership, ‘turmoil’” and ‘instability’.

“I should not have been bothered. Like people all across Bermuda, my constituents had questions about fuel prices, the state of the roads, when the Fairmont Southampton will open, the economy, social issues and other matters that affect the lives of Bermudians every day,” said Mr Burt.

“I mention this because it is very easy to get distracted by rumours, innuendo, and speculation. That may be what sells papers and increases viewership, but it does not in any way help the people we were elected to serve.

“Saturday’s interaction with my constituents reminded me that the people want us to create a climate of social harmony; to grow this economy and address the cost of living for themselves, their children, and grandchildren. It reinvigorated my commitment and my focus.”

The Premier concluded: “I am focused on the work that we promised to do on behalf of the electorate.

“The Cabinet is focused on that work. The Caucus and the wider Parliamentary Group are focused on that work. People are depending on us to deliver on what we promised and our commitment as their representatives and my commitment as Leader of the Government is to deliver and continue delivering for them.”