The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) has no interest in joining forces with former prime minister Owen Arthur.
The party’s general secretary Donville Inniss made that clear today as he sought to put to rest rumours that Arthur, who he described as a “political enemy” of the ruling party, could be welcomed into the fold of the DLP.
He told the media at a press conference called to announce plans for the DLP’s 59th annual general conference that no overtures had been made by either Arthur, who resigned from the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) last month, or the DLP.
And he stressed that Arthur would not receive any favours even if he sought to become a member of the party led by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.
“If Mr Arthur wishes to join the Democratic Labour Party, as his parliamentary representative I’m happy to give him an application form to join the party but he will be treated as any other. He would have to go through a process,” Inniss said.
“Mr Arthur has been a political enemy of this party for many, many years. That does not go away overnight.”
At the same time, Inniss said, the DLP would not dismiss any contribution Arthur might have to make.
“As a party and as a Government we’ve always been willing to listen to [everyone], let all ideas contend and if Mr Arthur wishes to make a constructive contribution to national development, as he has done in the past, the Democratic Labour Party and the Government [are] quite willing to listen and entertain him,” he said.
Several attempts to reach Arthur today were futile.
When he delivered a one-line resignation letter addressed to the party’s general secretary on July 25, the St Peter MP said he was breaking ties with the BLP because he believed that it had lost its way and its soul.
Several political and social commentators have speculated on his political future since he decided to sit as an Independent in the House of Assembly, with suggestions that he could either become a member of the DLP or start his own political party.