by Neville Clarke
Rommell Marshall is no longer a Bee. The outspoken former St. Michael West Central MP, who served as Minister of Public Works and Transport in former Prime Minister Owen Arthur’s Cabinet before the two fell out publicly, has quit the Barbados Labour Party with immediate effect.
Barbados TODAY learnt that Marshall ignored a party request for him to attend a National Executive Council meeting last night at Grantley Adams House, Roebuck Street, the City to answer a charge that he breached the BLP’s rules and regulations.
Instead, he tendered a letter of resignation to the its hierarchy, including leader Mia Mottley, saying he did not like how the current Leader of the Opposition had been treated by her own.
Marshall, who openly supported unsuccessful Democratic Labour Party candidate Dennis Holder in the February 21 general election and was being asked to answer the accusation he otherwise campaigned against the BLP, confirmed his departure today.
He told Barbados TODAY he was summoned to attend the mentioned meeting to explain the stance he took in St. Joseph during the general election, but that he declined the invitation because he did not like the way Mottley was treated by the party.
In his letter of resignation addressed to Chairman, Senator Dr. Jerome Walcott, Mottley and General Secretary George Griffith, Marshall stated:
“Let me now take this opportunity to thank you and all the other officers, past and present, along with all other members of the party for any assistance rendered me during my association with the party.
“I want to express special thanks to former Prime Minister and Political Leader, the right Honourable Owen S Arthur for giving me the opportunity to serve in his Cabinet and therefore to be of service to Barbados.
“I continue to feel the adrenaline surging as I contemplate my next move to continue to be of service to the country socially and politically. Once again my thanks to you and the organisation,” he added.
Marshall stressed that his political career was not over and promised to assist where possible in the St. Michael West Central, the City and any other constituency in St. Michael.
He maintained, however, that the BLP was divided and pointed out that it took five hours of “bitter infighting” to select Mia Mottley as the Opposition Leader when the process could have taken a mere five minutes.
The former MP claimed too that divisions within the party had reached a new low, pointing to the fact that St. Andrew MP George Payne was suing party colleague St. James North representative Edmund Hinkson for defamation.
The party structure was fractured with senior members leading their own factions, he stated.
Marshall joined the BLP in 1992 and later went on to win the St. Michael West Central seat on three occasions.
In the 2008 general election when there was a major swing away from the BLP, Marshall was narrowly defeated by DLP candidate, James Paul, by a mere 25 votes.
Not satisfied with the result, and saying he was denied a recount by Returning Officer Leonard Walters, Marshall filed a petition in the court asking for the result to be declared null and void but Paul’s victory was upheld.
He tried to make a comeback in 2010, this time contesting the party’s St. James Central nomination, but lost to current constituency representative Kerrie Symmonds.
This was followed by his vow to contest the St. Joseph seat as an independent candidate against then party colleague and current sitting MP Dale Marshall, but eventually backed out.
In the February general election campaign he attended several DLP meetings and predicted the party would have been elected to a second term. firstname.lastname@example.org