Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) MP George Payne has viewed as “a veiled threat”, a recent letter issued by party leader Mia Mottley to Christ Church West MP Dr Maria Agard.
So much so that Payne, who is a former chairman of the party, is now warning Mottley that her actions could not only affect Agard’s standing as a member of parliament, but also jeopardise the BLP’s success in the next polls and plunge the party into a “constitutional crisis”.
Payne’s warnings came in a November 5 letter issued by him, in response to a November 4 letter sent by Mottley to the embattled Agard.
In his firm letter to the party leader, Payne also accused Mottley of being “profoundly disrespectful” to Agard as well as “very discourteous” to both him and Ronald Toppin, two senior BLP members of parliament.
This follows Mottley’s no-show for a November 4 meeting that was scheduled with Agard to bring about “healing”.
Agard had written to Mottley on November 3 confirming her availability for last Wednesday’s meeting, while informing Mottley that she would be accompanied by Toppin and Payne.
However, in a letter the following day, Mottley said it was clear to her that the type of meeting she (Mottley) had envisaged and which she had advised the BLP annual conference on October 24 would happen within a week, could not now take place, given Agard’s letter.
“The nature of the meeting that I intended to have with you as the BLP Member of Parliament for Christ Church West and the BLP Christ Church West Executive was to bring about healing, if at all possible, and to ensure that all organs and officers of this party recognise the legitimacy of each other in order to work together.
“This is the second attempt to convene this meeting with you and your branch executive,” Mottley noted, adding that even though this meeting had not taken place she was now determined to take action.
“… Based on my widespread consultations, I am satisfied that I am now as political leader and chairman in a position to proceed with this matter in the best interest of our beloved Barbados Labour Party,” Mottley’s letter concluded.
Just yesterday former BLP general secretary George Griffith warned that the situation was becoming “increasingly embarrassing” and was “a sad reflection” on the party which he said had “an outstanding tradition of settling all issues, big and small, in a very dignified manner.
His comments came against the backdrop of a bitter internal tussle that has seen the election of a new executive for the BLP’s Christ Church West branch in the absence of the parliamentary representative and following an aborted annual general meeting on September 20 that has best been described as “heated”.
Ever since then, Agard has been refusing to work with the newly elected executive while pressing ahead with her job as parliamentary representative.
Agard, who has been criticised for working with the DLP Government on a football tournament for her constituency, was a no-show at last month’s BLP annual conference at the Christ Church Foundation School.