HAMILTON, Bermuda, May 25 CMC – With a general election due here this year, controversial former Premier Dr Ewart Brown has hinted at a political comeback.
“I never say never,” he said in a radio interview. “I’m a political animal by nature, and I have told the Premier (Paula Cox) I’m prepared to help as it seems fit for me to help.”
Brown, 66, was Premier from 2006 to 2010, quitting politics altogether after stepping down as leader.
Brown said he had taken a back seat since standing down although he had continued to offer advice on the quiet when asked.
He added: “It’s by design I stayed out of the media.”
He said it was “not appropriate” for a former Premier to “second-guess” a new administration.
Brown added: “It’s like going to the gym — it’s discipline.”
During his retirement he has been fishing, improving his golf game and seeing more of his family, he said.
But he has also had to help two of his sons through serious legal trouble in the United States.
Brown, who had to renounce his acquired US citizenship before becoming an MP in the early 1990s on his return to the island, said he was assisting his US-based doctor son Kevin with an appeal against his 12-year sentence for sexual offences against patients.
He said that another of his four sons, Maurice, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in America in 2002 for armed bank robbery aged just 19, was now out of jail and studying for healthcare management qualifications.
Brown said that it was “not a pleasant experience to have an offspring incarcerated”, but said it had deepened his understanding of what many families go through.
Appearing on a wide-ranging, 90-minute, radio phone-in, Brown was questioned on his controversial decision to take in four Chinese Uighurs, former terrorism suspects from the US jail at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, without consulting with the British government.
Brown said that despite an international row over the Uighurs he would have no hesitation in doing the same thing again. He said at the time he did it as a humanitarian gesture
One caller to the talk show described his decision to bring in the Uighurs without consulting the country as a “slap in the face” to Bermudians.
Brown said “there were times you wish you could discuss things with the public” but talks with the Barack Obama administration had been “classified”.
Brown dismissed suggestions he had enriched himself in office and pointed out he was a doctor, while his American wife Wanda had worked in banking on Wall Street.
He said: “If I had wanted to line my pockets I would have done two things — never taken on the premiership and I would never have encouraged my wife to retire as a merchant banker.”
And he challenged: “If anybody in Bermuda has some evidence of bribery, of theft or any suggestion I have taken five pennies as a result of my job as premier, come forward.”
A general election is due by mid-December.