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McAlpine: Thanks for the offer, but I’m still an FNM

While Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine said yesterday he has no intention of leaving the Free National Movement (FNM), he said “it’s good to know” he has options.

“There are options available to me,” McAlpine said.

“I’m not specifying as to what that option is or what it could be. I’ve not made a decision on anything one way or another. I’m still an FNM.”

He added: “I’m committed to the Free National Movement at this time but it’s good to know there’s options available to me.”

His comments come in light of Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis saying that the time had come for former PLPs to return to the party.

On Saturday, Davis said, “I have some PLPs who are MPs who are MPs as FNMs now. Now they want to come back home. So, let me say all is forgiven. We are not here to hold any grudge for what you may have done.”

McAlpine and Minister of Transport and Local Government Renward Wells are former members of the PLP.

Wells left the PLP to join the FNM in 2015.

McAlpine left the PLP in 2001 and joined the FNM in 2006.

When contacted yesterday about Davis’ comments, Wells laughed and declined to comment.

The Pineridge MP insisted he had “no intention at this time in crossing the floor” and he also commended Davis for “extending an olive branch” to former party members.

“I think it’s commendable of the leader of the opposition to be reaching out to former members of the Progressive Liberal Party whoever they may be, but only time will determine whether or not that offer will be received by any person former or otherwise,” he said.

“Based on what the leader of the opposition is saying, I do not see it being limited to just to members of Parliament but I guess what he’s saying is he’s calling all persons who are former PLPs to come home.

“That is what a leader ought to do but at the same time the leader has also made it clear that the PLP must get its house in order so that it can become attractive to those who were once so.”

In recent weeks, McAlpine has come under criticism from members of his party for his critical stance on government policy.

Last month, FNM Chairman Carl Culmer called the Pineridge MP “hypocritical” after he joined hundreds of protesters in an anti-government demonstration on Bay Street.

In October, Maurice Moore, one of the founding fathers of the FNM, said it was nonsensical for McAlpine to ride the party’s coattails while continuously criticizing the government.

But, yesterday, McAlpine questioned the criticism he has received from members of the FNM.

“… I’m just an FNM saying to the party, ‘Listen, this is what the people are saying,’” he said.

“You cannot beat me up for telling you what the people are saying, and then expect the people to support you when you’re beating up the fella for only delivering the message they gave.”

In June McAlpine was one of four sitting FNM MPs, known as the Rebel Four, to oppose the government’s decision to increase value-added-tax to 12 percent.

In October, he and other members of the Rebel Four were openly critical of a resolution to the move the General Post Office to Town Centre Mall.

Immigration Minister Brent Symonette is one of the major owners of the mall.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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