Doctor could be headed to court
Following last night’s unprecedented move to have her expelled from the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP), MP for Christ Church West Dr Maria Agard could be taking the BLP to court.
Today, Dr Agard’s lawyers said they were in the process of reviewing the matter with a view to asking the High Court to declare the decision by the Mia Mottley-led National Council unlawful.
“We are considering it . . . [but] we await [further] instructions [from Dr Agard]. We want the court to make certain declarations . . . to declare the action as unlawful,” lead attorney for Dr Agard, Hal Gollop, QC, told Barbados TODAY.
The decision to expel Dr Agard came during a lengthy meeting of the National Council at the BLP’s Roebuck Street, Bridgetown headquarters after the Christ Church West MP and her legal team walked out of the National Council hearing in protest, with Gollop contending that the same people who brought the charges against his client were also sitting in judgment of her.
However, Mottley said the Council, after hearing the nine charges presented and the statements from Dr Agard and her legal representatives, determined that she should be expelled from the party as provided for by the BLP constitution.
“These charges, contrary to those who would seek to trivialise them, are fundamental. At the very heart of it, they go to the respect for the authority of organs of the party, that are critical to its functioning as a mass-based political organisation – in other words, the failure of Dr Agard to recognise the legitimacy of a democratically elected branch of this Party – her own branch,” stated the BLP boss.
“They speak to the failure of Dr Agard to be guided by the Party’s Council – not to further speak to the media on this matter, so as to allow for reconciliation between herself and her branch. They also speak to her inappropriate conduct, whether in misconstruing the facts in the media or offensive profanities posted on social media.
“And finally, they speak to the failure of Dr Agard to be a team player – and to play her part by attendance at the Annual Conference and a series of nominations in the very parish where she is the only sitting Member of Parliament for the Party,” Mottley said.
She also made clear that the issue was not one of freedom of speech or the ability to manage diverse opinions but fundamentally an issue of discipline and respect for authority and willingness to work together in an organization with other people.
Earlier, one senior lawyer who is familiar with the BLP constitution had told Barbados TODAY that if the matter of the expulsion of the Christ Church West MP went to court, the party would lose since its constitution, though giving it had the right to discipline members, does not say how such discipline ought to be carried out.