BLP battle on
Marshall backing Payne in lawsuit against Hinkson
The defamation lawsuit filed by St Andrew member of parliament George Payne against his Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) colleague Edmund Hinkson is moving ahead.
And standing firmly in Payne’s corner is another BLP parliamentarian Dale Marshall. The St Joseph representative has filed a statement in the Supreme Court, dated August 8, 2014, in which he gives evidence that the claimant in the case, Payne, was grievously slandered by comments made by the defendant, Hinkson, who is the MP for St James North.
Hinkson allegedly made the offending comments during a BLP parliamentary meeting last year that was called to deal with the issue of the party’s political leadership following the Democratic Labour Party’s victory in the February 13 general election.
Marshall, who chaired the February 25, 2013 meeting, said St Michael North East MP Mia Mottley was the only person who emerged as a candidate for the leadership and Payne had commented on the issue of whether she was fit to lead the party.
In his detailed five and half page statement, Marshall, who shares a law practice with Payne, also identified some of the allegations which Payne thought Mottley should explain before she assumed the postion of Leader of the Opposition.
Marshall pointed out that immediately following Payne’s allegations, Hinkson intervened and made the defamatory statements against the claimant.
As Chairman of the meeting, Marshall said he could see the looks of “horror and consternation on the faces of the other people around the table”.
“I was personally horrified by the attack on the reputation of the claimant [Payne],” he said, adding that Hinkson’s outburst was “irrelevant to the discussion that was taking place at the meeting”.
In his own defence, Hinkson had previously stated that he had withdrawn his comments.
However Marshall said the St James North MP “was not allowed to, nor did he specifically advise the members present of an unreserved withdrawal of comments made”.
“Whenever he attempted to speak on the matter of the lawsuit [at a subsequent meeting], the Chairman of the meeting refused to allow him to address the subject,” Marshall said.
Barbados TODAY understands that two other parliamentarians have lodged statements in the Supreme Court confirming that the defamatory statements were made against the defendant, while another parliamentarian has promised to enter evidence in defence of Hinkson.
There are also reports that attempts by elders of the party to have the matter settled out of court failed, while it is unclear if Mottley has used her office to bring both parties to an amicable settlement.
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