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No excuse

Speaker of the House of Assembly, Michael Carrington (File photo)

An embarrassed and disturbed Speaker of the House of Assembly, Michael Carrington, today chastised parliamentarians who traded insults there last week.

And while accepting an apology from one of those involved, Christ Church West MP Dr. William Duguid, Carrington told him provocation was no excuse.

The issue involving Duguid and Minister of Health Donville Inniss, who represents St. James South took place last Tuesday when Chairman of Committees James Paul was the presiding officer.

Insults, including an expletive, were heard in the exchange between the MPs, prompting Duguid to apologise to his constituents and Barbadians last Friday and to Parliament this morning.

“I now humbly apologise to the House, my constituents and to the wider Barbadian public. That outburst was the result of the most grievous of provocations which came from the mouth of a Democratic Labour Party parliamentarian,” he said.

The Opposition MP told the House his “outburst” fell short of its traditions and standards and those of the Barbados Labour Party, but that he had been provoked by the gravest possible insult to his wife and children.

In response Carrington told members he did not “subscribe to the behavior” in the House last week, and reminded MPs that he had cautioned them previously “with respect to the comments and insults which are hurled from both sides of the House from time to time”.

“I have reminded members that even though they may be said at such a level that the chair might not hear them, they are likely to be picked up by the microphones and carried,” the speaker said.

“Now we have had a classic example of that happening. I would like to think that this is at the very least a wake up call and members will seek to conduct themselves along the lines which not only myself as speaker expects, but the public expects because you know that it is in the public domain and people would have spoken to various members from both sides about the incident.

“So I am essentially appealing to you not to let it happen again, I am not going to condone the behavior and I do not expect that we should have to come back and deal with a similar matter again,” he added.

Carrington said having listened “to the relevant excerpts” he found Duguid’s “refusal” to “heed the directions of the chair” quite disturbing and that he agreed the Christ Church West representative “fell far short”.

“Quite frankly I expected better and I do expect better from the members of Parliament,” Carrington said. (SC)

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