Abject nonsense, says Wickham
Political scientist Peter Wickham has described calls for Opposition Leader Mia Mottley to present her legal credentials as “abject nonsense”.
During the recent Budget debate several Cabinet ministers had called into question Mottley’s qualifications, with Minister of the Environment Dr Denis Lowe issuing a challenge to the Barbados Labour Party leader to make her education certificate a document of the House.
Minister of Transport Michael Lashley had also challenged Mottley on the matter.
However, Wickham told Barbados TODAY the ministers raised the issue because they were unable to defend themselves against allegations that she had raised.
Wickham also referred to concerns raised by Mottley about the Government’s plans on the waste-to-energy project with Cahill Energy, the awarding of contracts to Preconco, and also charged in her reply to the Budget that two Government officials were driving cars owned by the company Transtec.
“I think the conversation is abject nonsense and [the fact] that the issue has even come up I think is a clear demonstration that the Democratic Labour Party is unable to defend itself against the allegations that she has raised,” he stated.
Wickham’s comments come on the heels of a strong defence mounted by prominent attorney and BLP stalwart Sir Henry Forde.
In a statement issued at the weekend, Sir Henry argued that “Schedule 2 of the Legal Profession Act applies to her [Mottley] and permitted her to practice in Barbados without having to do any prescribed course of study at a law school in the region.”
The political scientist is of the view that “Sir Henry dealt with [the matter] effectively”.
“I’ve always known that she does not have a legal education certificate and I have also known that she doesn’t need one to practice because of the ways the laws are drafted. I think all of these issues came up largely because of the issues that she has raised. The Government seems unwilling to answer so that they prefer to raise something, which is nonsense quite frankly.”
He also stated that Mottley had “nothing to answer to”.
“She is an attorney, she was called to the Bar under the Democratic Labour Party administration. Sir Morris King was the Attorney General when she was called to the Bar. If it is that she was improperly called to the Bar, then it’s their fault.
“So to me it is nothing that she has to answer [and] I really don’t think she should waste anytime dignifying a silly question with a response. There is no basis. It is obvious to everyone who pays attention to the situation that this issue is picking up because they cannot counter what she has raised, so they are countering it with scurrility,” Wickham said.