Mia: I won’t be distracted
Fresh concerns about infighting within the hierarchy of the opposition Barbados Labour Party.
This follows the unceremonious removal of Mia Mottley more than three years ago from the post of leader of the opposition.
Former opposition leader Owen Arthur, who stepped down from the top position to make way for Mottley’s reinstallation following the party’s defeat in the 2013 general election, has taken fresh aim at his successor.
This time, he has stated clearly that he has lost confidence in her as leader.
Arthur’s position is contained in a letter dated December 30, written to Leader of Opposition Business in the House of Assembly, Kerrie Symmonds, and published in another section of the media today.
However, Mottley, says she will not be distracted by the internal development.
Following is the full text of her statement issued today:
As we speak today, Barbados faces the most serious economic challenges since Independence, threatening our way of life and our very stability as a nation.
It is a time that calls for all hands on deck and the best minds working together for Barbados.
It is against this background, that towards the end of 2013, I called upon the Government of Barbados to establish an Eminent Persons Group to allow us to start the New Year with the most qualified persons in Barbados assisting in saving the country.
The concept of a non-partisan multi sectoral group is one that has been widely used across the world. In fact, it is an approach proposed previously by the Barbados Labour Party. In our ranks I looked around and I could think of no better or more qualified persons than our former Prime Minister, the Rt. Honourable Owen Arthur, who served this country with distinction for fourteen years, and Mr. Erskine Griffith GCM, a former director of finance, who was at the forefront of the resolution of all of our major economic challenges for the past forty years.
I believe then, as I do now, that Barbados needs its best brains and its most experienced persons at this time.
In these circumstances, I sincerely regret Mr. Arthur’s unwillingness to be considered for a nomination to this Eminent Persons Group, had Government agreed to its formation.
In this vein, I apologise for any offence he may have taken.
It is also regrettable that a letter written by Mr. Arthur, addressed to Mr. Kerrie Symmonds and read and discussed at our Parliamentary Group meeting on 30th December could now find its way to the front page of today’s Nation Newspaper.
I hope that we can now put this matter behind us and proceed with the people’s business.
As Leader of the Opposition, I give Barbadians the assurance that the team I lead will not be distracted but will remain focused on the dire conditions of our country and the plight of thousands of Barbadian families who within days may have to face their future without the security of a job.
The overwhelming support and attendance at the first Peoples’ Assembly on Sunday re-affirm my resolve and confirm that the Barbados Labour Party is indeed on the right track. The views expressed, the experiences shared and the solid suggestions offered underscore the importance of these assemblies.
Let us do this together.
I invite you to join us again, tomorrow night, Tuesday at The Foundation School at 7.00 as we host the second Peoples’ Assembly. Dr. Peter Laurie and Bishop Wilfred Wood will join us in continuing the national conversation about how best we can work together to resolve our problems by putting Barbados first.