Barbados Labour Party (BLP) leader Mia Mottley has described the fledgling United Progressive Party (UPP) as a party of discontented people who are driven by revenge because they were rejected as candidates for the BLP.
However, Mottley said the BLP was prepared for all and sundry this election campaign, no matter the party.
Speaking last night at a party meeting at Grantley Adams Memorial School, the BLP leader also accused both the UPP and Solutions Barbados of being in collusion with the governing Democratic Labour Party (DLP), in an attempt to keep her party out of office.
“If they want to bring all of their candidates to come against us, bring them on. This notion that you can fight and fight an Opposition, if that’s what titillates UPP and Solutions [Barbados], then so be it. But it is the strangest political plan that any of us have ever seen, because we are not the Government of this country. But if people are motivated by a vendetta, bring them on,” Mottley said, adding that the BLP was focused on “the mission to rescue this country”, and there was nothing the DLP could do to sidetrack it.
“There is nothing that their nephew or their niece can say or do, and I mean Solutions [Barbados] and I mean UPP,” she said.
Mottley listed UPP leader Lynette Eastmond, who has failed on multiple occasions in her bid to win a parliamentary seat, as well as members Hutson Griffith, Wendell Callender and David Gill, among those who were rejected by the BLP, and who now seek another party.
“Lynette did not get to run in Christ Church East Central or St Philip West, but that is because the people of those constituencies thought that John King and Ryan Straughn are better to run for them,” Mottley said, adding that the situation was similar in St John where party supporters chose Charles Griffith instead of his namesake, Hutson Griffith and in St Michael South Central where David Gill, who won the seat for the BLP back in 1999, but lost to Richard Sealy in the three successive national elections since, lost the nomination to economist Marsha Caddle because “the people of St Michael South Central thought Marsha Caddle was better than him”.
Of Callender, she said, “he run there, he run here, he run through a proxy, and he run [to UPP]”, and party members had no place for him.
However, she had little to say about Dr Maria Agard, who in November 2015 was kicked out of the BLP after a nasty row with Mottley, and who last week announced she would join the UPP.
“Well, well, well . . . enough said, enough said,” Mottley stated.
Dr Agard last week led a spirited defence of her new party against attacks by BLP parliamentarian George Payne, who suggested during the Estimates debate that the UPP was being financed by the DLP, and that it was formed strictly to attack the BLP.
“The law of Barbados allows minority or opposition parties to receive a subvention. Let me assure you that any money the UPP receives from the governing administration, it is the subvention to which it is entitled,” Dr Agard retorted, as she went on to remind Payne, the Member of Parliament for St Andrew, it was the BLP that introduced subventions to opposition parties after it assumed power in 1994.
“The Constitution of Barbados allows for the formation of political parties by people in this country who believe they have the intellectual capacity to serve the island at the highest level. I wish to stage categorically that the United Progressive Party was not set up to oppose the parliamentary opposition,” she said.