HAMILTON, Bermuda, CMC - Veteran Progressive Labour Party (PLP) legislator, Randy Horton, has been sworn in as the new Speaker of the House of Assembly, despite opposition from his own party to accept the post on Friday.
The PLP, ousted in last December's general election after 14 years in power, wanted to keep all of its MPs on the floor of the House to put pressure on the new One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) government, which holds a wafer-thin, two-seat majority
The OBA, formed less than two years ago, won a nail-biting election by 19 seats to 17.
The Speaker usually does not vote, and if the OBA had had to nominate one of its own legislators it would have cut the party's majority to one.
Horton, 68, a former educator and leading sportsman , was the only person nominated for the post on
The parliamentary representative for Southampton West was nominated by Premier Craig Cannonier and seconded by Public Safety Minister Michael Dunkley.
Horton replaces Stanley Lowe of the PLP, who retired following the last election. He said he was proud and humbled by the honour and confidence shown in him.
“I will certainly do my best to endure that as we carry out our business it will be carried out in the best interests of the people of this island," he said.
Horton, who has been in parliament for more than 14 years, is director of training and a member of the executive board at the Hamilton Princess Hotel.
He served in four cabinet posts under the PLP, but was sacked by then-Premier Dr Ewart Brown in 2008 because he said he was not moving fast enough on education reform.
A former Bermuda teacher and US college lecturer, Horton was principal of Warwick Secondary School for 10 years.
He played soccer for the New York Cosmos, the Washington Diplomats and the Hartford Bicentennials before moving into coaching at college level. He was also a top cricketer in Bermuda, captaining Somerset in Cup Match, the island's premier domestic fixture, and later became a radio commentator on the island's major cricket matches.