Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said he and Centreville MP Reece Chipman “speak with one voice” in spite of Chipman’s recent criticism of government policy.
Speaking at a town hall meeting for the Over-the-Hill Initiative in Bains and Grants Town on Wednesday night, Minnis said, “I’m happy that the member of parliament for Centreville, that this area involves, is here. Yes, people would say that we disagree on certain points and that is true, husbands and wives disagree on certain points.
“But the bottom line is when they come out, they come out and speak with one voice and we speak with one voice. We have one goal and our goal is to attack poverty and change our environment; that will never change between us.
“We may differ on other things, just like husband and wife, but the goal in improving the quality of life for individuals will always be the same.”
Chipman was one of four sitting Free National Movement (FNM) MPs to oppose the government’s increase of value-added tax (VAT) and to oppose the relocation of the General Post Office to the Town Centre Mall.
He called the resolution for the post office move a “dereliction” of duty.
FNM founding father Maurice Moore has been critical of Chipman and the other three MPs: Bain and Grants Town MP Travis Robinson, Gold Isles MP Vaughn Miller and Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine.
Earlier this month, he said the men were out of order and might not have a future in the party if they continue to carry on the way they have.
A recent FNM conclave was held with the purpose of getting all FNMs “on the same page”, according to FNM Chairman Carl Culmer.
Following the conclave, when asked if he intends to be more supportive of the government’s policy agenda, Chipman responded, “I don’t think there is a sense of a lack of support of what the government puts forth.”
“Dissenting or having a different point of view is not that you do not support a government.
“You may not support a particular issue or item on the agenda, but not that you do not support the government.”
At the town hall, Minnis and Chipman both expressed enthusiasm for the rejuvenation of inner city areas.
Chipman said, “I fully embraced [the initiative] almost automatically.”