St James Central MP Kerrie Symmonds was today mum on his removal from the post of Leader of Opposition Business in the House of Assembly.
Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley announced a reshuffle of her shadow Cabinet yesterday evening, moving out Symmonds from the position and bringing in St Michael South East representative Santia Bradshaw to fill his shoes.
When the bell rang to summon parliamentarians to their seats to begin the year’s first session, Bradshaw took her place next to the Opposition Leader.
It was not until 11:15 a.m. that Symmonds showed up, taking a seat at the southern end of the Opposition benches that are occupied by junior Members of Parliament like Dr Maria Agard, Jeffrey Bostic and Edmund Hinkson.
When approached by Barbados TODAY, Symmonds refused to comment on the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) leader’s decision, saying it was for her and not him to explain.
Meantime, Bradshaw told Barbados TODAY her appointment was “a humbling thing”.
“I look forward to being challenged by what the position holds, but I believe that in keeping with the example set by others in the BLP, particularly when they have given positions to young people and also to women, I look forward to what lies ahead,” she said.
Bradshaw also reacted to comments made by former prime minister Owen Arthur who likened her selection by Mottley to US Republican presidential candidate John McCain choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate.
“It is an interesting comment. However, what I will say [is that] it was Arthur who gave me the opportunity to serve in the Senate and it was Arthur who, when he had challenges with Hamilton Lashley, called on me to represent the people of St Michael South East. So I respect Arthur and I respect his opinion, but at the end of the day I believe he too knows that he would have had certain confidence in me to give the opportunities,” she said.
While acknowledging that he would have appointed Bradshaw to the Senate, Arthur stressed that he was very careful to appoint Symmonds as Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate at the time.