By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter dmaycock@tribunemedia.net FREEPORT - High Rock MP Kenneth Russell said that he does not recall Deputy Leader Brent Symonette speaking to him about not running in the next general election. Mr Russell was responding to remarks made by Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham on Sunday at a peace rally and meeting for FNM supporters at the Foster Pestaina Hall at Christ the King Church. Mr Russell, former Cabinet minister who was fired by Mr Ingraham, said all he has ever asked for is fairness in the way candidates are selected in the FNM. "The PM's procedure for selecting a candidate is different from what he said last week and it is exactly what I would like to see happen," he said. "My only concern was the procedure in the FNM and that not one man makes the decision, and I am pleased today he has gone back to the FNM's original way of selecting candidates by having the association present names and recommendations to the national party," said Mr Russell. Mr Russell said that Mr Ingraham had offered to make him a Senator, and possibly a minister in the Senate. "I told him I would give him an answer at the end of this week, and then we came to the meeting and things happened that just to me is not fair. "It is not fair what the PM said last week, but because he changed his procedure now, I can accept the new procedure and once the selection is made that is fine with me." Mr Ingraham met with the FNM High Rock Association and has invited members to put forward at least two names of candidates to run in the new East Grand Bahama. Mr Russell said he was not invited to the meeting. "Today's meeting was an FNM rally, it was not a peace rally because I am the one who felt that I was treated wrongly and nothing was said to me. "I would have thought the PM if he is coming to Grand Bahama would have invited me to the meeting with the High Rock Association today, so we could sit and talk about High Rock and what is happening and where we go from here." Mr Russell said the Prime Minister does not consider him a friend. "He has not considered me a friend now for at least four years, and I told him about it two years ago. I said to him that obviously you no longer have me as one of your friends, I would like to know why." "He said he still have me as a friend. I told him the action he was having toward me did not show that. I am old enough to know when someone is my friend and when they are not my friend. "I am sorry it came down to this fact. He said there is no personal feelings, but I don't know about that," Mr Russell said. Mr Russell said he is still an FNM and will only leave if the FNM asks him to leave. Mr Russell said he agrees that new blood is needed in the party. "I think he is right in bringing new blood to the party. The FNM branch in High Rock had a run off between me and 10 other persons and I was selected. And that is all I have been asking for, an open, transparent and fair opportunity for people who want to run. "I would have considered his offer and given him my answer but it became difficult for me when we were together for the past four years and nothing was said to me, and he spring this on me on the day when he came to Freeport to talk about a number of persons having to relinquish seats for other persons, and that's when he mentioned it to me. I think it was short notice. He said he sent Brent to me a long time ago, but I don't remember that and I don't remember using profanity," Mr Russell said. Mr Russell said Cabinet Minister Neko Grant came over to shake his hand on Sunday for the first time since his dismissal from his duties as minister in the Cabinet. "He said good luck and take care of yourself," Mr Russell said. Mr Russell said he and Verna Grant, MP for Eight Mile Rock, are in the same boat. Last night, the prime minister explained that Mr Russell was given the opportunity to serve in the High Rock seat by Maurice Moore, who is considered to be one of the founding fathers of the party. In an interview with The Tribune, Mr Moore explained that he was saddened by the matter after hearing the "full story" from Mr Ingraham. "It was a matter that Russell didn't handle correctly, both (Ingraham and Russell) are friends of mine and (Russell) just did not handle it in an appropriate matter. It should have been handled differently and I'm sorry Ken didn't handle the matter differently. "You have to respect your leader, the party is bigger than any one person," Mr Moore added. "Ingraham is not only the leader of the FNM, but leader of the country, and there is a respect that is due to him. The whole matter was not a respectful response, so from that perspective you make your bed hard, you lay hard."


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment