Prominent Queen’s Counsel Hal Gollop Friday issued an open challenge to Opposition Leader Mottley to shed the protective cloak of Parliament and to come outside and repeat the same scurrilous allegations she made against him this week in the House of Assembly.
While echoing the views expressed by his dear friend and legal ally Prime Minister Freundel Stuart last night, Gollop Friday spoke out in his own defence, after Mottley, under the cover of Parliament, brought the character of the Chairman of the local Employment Rights Tribunal into serious question.
While charging that exorbitant fees in the amount of $1.5 million were paid by the Stuart-led administration in relation to projects at the Barbados Water Authority (BWA), Mottley effectively cast a wide net, in which both Gollop and Stuart were entangled, as she promised to uncover and root out corruption in both high and low places.
Mottley also raised a question mark over the Prime Minister’s election in St Michael South, while suggesting that he may have had some strong outside help.
However, in his own defence, Gollop said Friday that “in respect of the charge which would give the impression that I was out in a constituency in St Michael South handing out envelopes on Election Day, thereby, buying votes, I would simply ask the Leader of the Opposition, to come out from behind the protection of parliamentary privilege and go as far as Parliament Square and repeat the statement.
“I say no more,” he told Barbados TODAY, while warning that legal action could also follow.
Only last night, Stuart sprang to Gollop’s defence against what he said were attempts by Mottley to sully the character of his friend of 50 years.
Declaring that their friendship goes back to 1967, the Prime Minister had also challenged the Opposition Leader to repeat the charges on the outside, even as he accused her of seeking to paint Gollop as a rogue after she had personally invited him to serve on a four-member commission to draft a republican constitution for Barbados.
Mottley, who was in Government at the time, had also asked Gollop to serve for 14 years on the board of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) from 1994 to 2008 and had also reportedly offered Gollop the post of Solicitor General on contract, but Stuart said he had personally advised him not to accept the job even though he claimed that Mottley had assured Gollop that she would look after his son if he had agreed to do so.