Speaker, I’m fair
A move by Government to have a matter involving Speaker of the House of Assembly Michael Carrington and the Opposition referred to Parliament’s Committee of Privileges failed on Tuesday.
At the same time, Carrington, whose ruling on a matter involving Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley prompted a walk out by her members the previous Tuesday, said he presided with a fair hand and would resign the day he felt his fairness was in doubt.
The matter came up in the post lunch session of the House of Assembly this afternoon, when Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation Ronald Jones moved a motion, saying comments related to the Carrington/Mottley issue which appeared in the Press warranted a ruling by the Committee of Privileges.
The Christ Church East Central representative said Carrington was called unfair, partial and accused of not being transparent, but when the matter was put to a vote the Opposition prevailed 10 votes to Government’s nine. Commented on the issue, Carrington said statements which suggested he was conspiring with Government to distract from legitimate public concerns were untrue.
The Queen’s Counsel, who represents St. Michael West and won the seat for the a second time as a member of the Democratic Labour Party in the February 21 general election, said in his more than five years as Speaker he had sought to learn the rules of the House and to preside fairly. “I care not what you think of Michael Carrington (the man), but I care about what you think about Michael Carrington when he sits in this chair … and if the time has come when I feel I cannot do it with partiality then I shall resign,” he told members.
In the Lower House the Committee of Privileges is chaired by Carrington and the other members are Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite, Minister of Agriculture, Dr. David Estwick, Deputy Speaker Mara Thompson, and Barbados Labour Party MPs Ronald Toppin, Santia Bradshaw, and Trevor Prescod.
In the senate the members of the Committee of Privileges are President Senator Kerryann Ifill, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Senator Darcy Boyce, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, Opposition Senator Wilfred Abrahams and