Prime Minister Freundel Stuart tonight challenged Opposition Leader Mia Mottley to repeat a set of scurrilous charges she made in the House yesterday on the outside.
And in defense of Attorney-at-Law Hal Gollop, with whom Stuart boasted he had a friendship that dates back to 1967, the Prime Minister accused the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) leader of seeking to besmirch the image of the prominent Queens Counsel after she had personally invited him to serve on a four-member commission to draft a republican constitution for the island.
Stuart further accused Mottley of trying to paint Gollop as rogue after also asking him to serve for 14 years on the Board of the National Cultural Commission between 1994 and 2008.
He also said that Mottley had offered Gollop the position of Solicitor General on contract but said he had personally advised him not to accept the job even though he alleged that Mottley has assured Gallop that she would look after his son if he had agreed to do so.
It was the last comment that forced Mottley to rise to her feet seeking to clarify that Gollop was not offered “one cent” to sit on the constitutional commission.
However, she took issue with what she said were exorbitant legal fees in the sum of $1.5 million which were reportedly paid by the Stuart-led administration in relation to the Barbados Water Authority.
During his spirited address, Stuart also took issue with claims made by Mottley in relation to a proposed reverse osmosis plant which Mottley told the House yesterday the Canadian High Commission has been forced to wait in vain for an answer from Stuart, despite the benefits that would be derived by the island.
However, in response Stuart said he doubted either the current or the former High Commissioner would have leaked any communication with him to the Leader of the Opposition.
The Prime Minister also referred to a piece communication from the Bankers Association which he said he had not responded to.
“I know the letter referred to, it was not copied to anybody. Now if a letter written to the Prime Minister and was not copied to anybody, but it still ended up in the possession of charges, clearly the reply would be in the possession of the Leader of the Opposition too,” Stuart said.
“The letter was written to me as Prime Minister of Barbados and copied to no one, yet it ended up in possession of the Leader of the Opposition.”
Stuart went further to suggest that his BLP opponent in St Michael South Kirk Humphrey may have been operating as “a BLP mole”.
In terms of the actual Budget presented by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler, Stuart likened the current economic burdens faced by the country to “a jockey which has gotten too heavy for the horse”.
In this context, he praised former Prime Minister Owen Arthur for the position he took today in the Budget debate, that Government could no longer carry the burden and that national sacrifices would have to be made.