Defeated Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate David Gill says though he remains committed to the party he joined shortly after graduating from Harrison College over 40 years ago, he wants nothing more to do with its current Chairman Mia Mottley or General Secretary Dr Jerome Walcott.
Additionally, 61-year-old Gill, who lost Sunday’s nomination in St Michael South Central to the 37-year-old economist Marsha Caddle, said he would have no part in her campaign to unseat the incumbent Democratic Labour Party representative for the area, Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy.
During a lengthy interview with Barbados TODAY this afternoon at the Wildey, St Michael residence of his longstanding manager Eman Layne, Gill also raised concerns about a number of “boat people” who he said had come into the party and were now seeking to determine its future course.
“There are many people who would like to speak like me, but they are afraid to come out and speak. I cannot work with the Chairman of the party because she did not want me. It is no longer the Barbados Labour Party, it is the Barbados Liberal Party,” Gill charged.
He went on to take serious issue with the treatment he had received from Dr Walcott during the internal nomination exercise, saying he had written to the General Secretary three years ago expressing an interest in contesting the St Michael South Central seat for the fifth time, but no reply was immediately forthcoming.
Instead, Gill said the entire candidate selection process, which was completed last weekend, was rushed at the last minute.
“I cannot work with Dr Walcott because of the shabby way he treats people. He did not handle me well in the procedure. He did not reply to my letters in which I had expressed an interest in contesting the St Michael South Central constituency.
“Is that the way to treat a person?” asked Gill, who also questioned why “after three years, the party only now decided it was time for a run-off”.
Gill, who polled 103 votes to Caddle’s 132, also contended that the young economist was favoured by the party’s hierarchy.
In fact, he charged that the entire process was rigged.
“I think that I have been manipulated. I felt they did not want me around anymore,” said the former BLP Member of Parliament, who represented the St Michael South Central constituency in the House of Assembly between 1999 and 2003.
He also revealed that the first time he saw Caddle was last Sunday, on the night of the nomination.
“She did not come through the usual route. If a candidate wants to run for a constituency he/she expresses an interest by writing the party through the branch because it is branch which promotes the candidate, [but] no, she came in from on high. She was most highly favoured,” he said.
“I am looking at the process, procedure, customs and traditions. What I have been watching is procedure and when you fall down at every turn and twist then you have lost your way,” the defeated BLP candidate added.
Asked if he will support Caddle during her campaign, Gill asked: “How can I support someone that I had only seen on the evening of the nomination?
“She never came into the branch to be met. It would be very hard for me to tell people who had endorsed me to a point, . . . to support the new candidate. I would also have to say I do not want your support anymore, I want this young lady to be the candidate,” he told Barbados TODAY.
Gill also took issue with the way in which a list of 71 names he had submitted on August 28 for party membership was discarded, pointing out that the BLP’s nomination for St Michael South Central was set for October 2 even though the six-week membership process was not completed.