September 20, 2020

[Barbados] Opposition walks out of Parliament again


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MIA MOTTLEYFrom Nation news Barbados
The opposition Barbados Labour Party this morning walked out of Parliament after an attempt by Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley to get Speaker Michael Carrington to recuse himself was unsuccessful.

Mottley said she believed the dignity of the House of Assembly had been offended by Speaker Carrington’s decision to take the chair when a matter related to his conduct had been referred to the Committee of Privileges.

During last week’s sitting, Leader of Opposition Business Santia Bradshaw brought the issue of Carrington’s professional conduct before the House. At the time, the Speaker recused himself and Deputy Speaker Mara Thompson took the chair.

A High Court judge has ruled that Carrington has to repay a client more than $200 000 received for payment of land.

Mottley said it was “the correct and right thing to do” for the Deputy Speaker to take the chair.

Michael CarringtonShe claimed it was not a matter for the committee, rather “a moral matter”.

“We do not want this parliament to be seen in a light that reduces its dignity,” Mottley said.

The Opposition Leader said an attempt by Bradshaw to get the matter settled away from public scrutiny was ignored and she felt obliged to raise it on the open floor.

She charged that the chamber must be led by someone whose conduct was not a matter of public scrutiny and that a public servant who had been interdicted would have been sent home with half pay until the matter was settled.

Mottley said Carrington should recuse himself until the committee had finished its business and the Speaker should lead by example.

parliament0654-450x303Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy, who had been speaking on Barbados Port Inc. (Transfer of Management and Vesting of Assets) Amendment Bill 2014, rose to continue his point, at which time Mottley interjected again, requesting a ruling on her point.

Speaker Carrington then said he understood Mottley said he had “no sense of morality”, to which she rose on a point of order to refute that claim.

“Honourable Member, do not interrupt when I am speaking,” Carrington ordered.

He said he did recuse himself, was aware the matter had been referred to the Committee for Privileges, but he had not been charged.

“I can’t see any reason. I don’t know of any resolution passed by this House saying that I can’t take this chair. I don’t know that any procedure under these Standing Orders was gone through to say that Michael Carrington as Speaker cannot take the chair until that is done, I am entitled to take the chair. Good!” he concluded.

Refusing to back down, Mottley again requested a ruling.

At that point, the Speaker informed Mottley the correct procedure to challenge a ruling and directed Sealy to continue his submission.

Mottley attempted to speak and was informed she no longer had the floor.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart later interjected and Thompson took the chair.

Carrington briefly left the chair, and Thompson took over. When he returned, the Opposition walked out. (SAT)
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