BLP seat shuffle
There has been a shuffling of seats in the Lower House of Parliament.
Today, House Speaker Michael Carrington confirmed that two sitting members of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party had traded places on the front bench.
They are St James North MP Edmund Hinkson and City MP Jeffrey Bostic who have opted for places on the Opposition backbench.
The move was apparently influenced by the decision of expelled BLP member and Christ Church West MP Dr Maria Agard to retain her seat on the Opposition front bench, and now leaves Agard sitting on her own, with St James Central MP Kerrie Symmonds, who is positioned two seats away, now Dr Agard’s closest parliamentary neighbour.
In response to concerns raised by Opposition Chief Whip Santia Bradshaw, the Speaker today said: “I didn’t think it was a big problem, but as you know the assignments are made at the beginning of the term and the rule is that you are expected to address the chair from your seat.
“You also know that in circumstances where a member has decided that they are no longer supporting either side then that member usually sits as an independent behind the Opposition.”
However, he pointed out to date he had not received any official word from either the Opposition or Dr Agard that the relationship between them had changed; therefore he said no action had been taken with respect to the seating.
However, he “did receive some indication that two members of the Opposition benches desired to be reseated elsewhere and based on that, arrangements were placed to accommodate them at the back.”
The Speaker also acknowledged that given his seniority, special provision had been made for former Prime Minister Owen Arthur after he resigned from the BLP to sit as an independent.