Deputy Chief Reporter
TWO MPs fired this week by Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis from government appointments for voting against the VAT increase have dismissed claims they would leave the Free National Movement to become Independent or join the Official Opposition.
Since Golden Isles MP Vaughn Miller was terminated as parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Social Services and Frederick McAlpine, Pineridge MP, was stripped from the post of chairman of the Hotel Corporation, it has been speculated they were mulling over crossing the floor or severing party affiliation.
"That's not true, that's a rumour," Mr McAlpine told The Tribune yesterday. "It's too early for us. We're FNM unless somebody has done something or said something or somebody knows something we don't know.
"Presently I can say this for myself and I think I can say for others that we are all FNM."
Asked if he has been in talks with Progressive Liberal Party officials, he said: "No one from the PLP has approached me."
Mr Miller also said the claims were just "rumours".
He said: "There have been no discussions about it and I haven't spoken to anyone from the PLP. As far as I know all of us will remain FNM."
Centreville MP Reece Chipman who also voted "no" to the VAT increase, said yesterday he will remain with the governing party. He did not have a government appointment to lose as he was fired months ago as chairman of the Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Corporation. Bain and Grants Town MP Travis Robinson's parliamentary secretary position was also revoked. When asked yesterday he if plans to become an Independent member of Parliament, he said "no comment."
On Wednesday the prime minister said his decision to fire the MPs was not personal but based on his responsibility and obligation to follow parliamentary procedure.
While speaking to reporters in Grand Bahama, Dr Minnis stressed that he will not shirk his responsibility.
"I cannot allow my personal views to get into democracy; we have a parliamentary procedure, and I must adhere, respect, and ensure the procedure lives on, and is honoured, and respected thoroughly," he said on the sidelines of a conference.