BLP firm on House Speaker
The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) remains firm that its members will not even consider taking their seats in Parliament until the Committee of Privileges has reported on the matter involving Speaker of the House Michael Carrington.
Opposition Leader Mia Mottley made that clear last night when she told members of the party’s combined St Philip branches that the Members of Parliament would stay away from the House on principle.
Following a publicized High Court order that Carrington, a lawyer, hand over to client John Griffiths the monies due from the sale of his deceased aunt’s property, Parliament referred the matter of Carrington’s conduct to the Committee of Privileges. The Opposition decided to boycott sittings over which Carrington presided in the meantime.
Carrington has since handed over the money.
“This situation is not yet over,” Mottley told those gathered in the Princess Margaret Secondary School hall.
“The Barbados Labour Party took a principled position that once the Speaker left his seat and the Deputy Speaker referred the matter to the Committee of Privileges that he had no moral authority to resume his seat until the Committee of Privileges had reported back to the House of Assembly”.
“The Barbados Labour Party’s position as to the morality of a Speaker taking money from a sale on behalf of a client, and in this instance compounded by the client’s age and disability, is a matter that we will not be silenced on,” she added.
Mottley insisted that the Opposition did not have confidence “in that Speaker to hold the chair in the highest court of the land and to do so in a way that, in our opinion, insulates the Parliament and the chair from being reduced in the eyes of ordinary people”.
The Committee of Privileges has reportedly decided to send the matter back to the House.
But Mottley said last night: “I am told that a report is to come shortly. We shall see.”
Addressing the question of the elected Opposition MPs’ inability to represent the people’s interest during the boycott, Mottley said matters that were before Parliament were being dealt with through “non-parliamentary means”.
She pointed out that she, St Thomas MP Cynthia Forde and St Joseph MP Dale Marshall had addressed such matters either at media briefings or at public meetings.
“So it is not that we didn’t do the people’s work, but we took a position on principle we would not be doing the people’s work with the Speaker in the chair until the process of the Committee of Privileges, requested by no less a person than the Deputy Speaker of the House Mara Thompson, was completed.”