Premier 'not a nice man,' ousted B.C. minister says
A B.C. cabinet minister who was forced from his position over his criticism of Premier Gordon Campbell says the premier is intimidating, abusive and foul-mouthed.
After weeks of making his dislike of the premier's leadership known, Bill Bennett pulled out all the stops today after being ousted from a weekly cabinet meeting.
"I'm tired of the bullsh** that goes on in politics, and I'm really tired of the way Gordon Campbell thinks he can just run on people. He can run on me -- I'm a tough guy, I can take it -- but I've seen him do it to other people in our caucus, and you have almost a battered wife syndrome inside our caucus today," Bennett told reporters.
"He's lost the public entirely. I just don't think the public of B.C. have any respect left for the premier of the province and he should just leave."
Bennett says that the premier is an abusive bully who's demeaning, patronizing and disrespectful to his team. A few years ago, Bennett says he was taken behind a barn and subjected to a foul-mouthed storm of anger from Campbell.
"He got so angry with me that he got in my face. He was so angry he actually spit in my face. He's not a nice man," Bennett said.
Although Finance Minister Colin Hansen says his cabinet colleagues fired Bennett, the former cabinet minister says it was the premier who pulled the plug.
"My cabinet colleagues didn't force me out. I was fired by Gordon Campbell. There's no doubt about that," Bennett said.
Bennett says Campbell has lost good cabinet ministers because of his treatment of members and he says the outgoing premier has driven people to tears.
Among those Bennett says quit because they couldn't work with Campbell was Carole Taylor, a former finance minister who has been courted for Campbell's job.
Campbell has announced he will leave his job as premier after a leadership vote Feb. 26, but Bennett has said Campbell should go earlier.
With files from The Canadian Press