Former St Michael South East MP Hamilton Lashley has described as being in “poor taste” a call by Democratic Labour Party (DLP) General Secretary Guyson Mayers to gear up supporters for a possible by-election because of a sitting MP’s illness.
The comments were an apparent reference to his successor as MP Santia Bradshaw, who has gone public with her fight against breast cancer.
“I would not be part of any talk of a by-election as a result of [anyone’s] health because I want them to get better and that would mean that the individual would continue to fulfil their role. Right now at this moment any talk of by-election is out of synchronization with reality and in poor taste. I believe all parties should be wishing the [sick person] well,” said Lashley.
It was during a meeting of the DLP’s three St. Philip constituency branches last month that Mayers told the party faithful: “We do not have five years put down; we have a Member of Parliament who is very ill, and no one knows if or when there will be a by-election in that constituency, and we hear there are rumblings in the party with one of your (St. Philip) candidates whose head is on the cutting board, so we have to be in a state of readiness in case things fall apart, as they sometimes do.”
The DLP General Secretary did not state the constituency or the name of Members of Parliament to whom he was referring. But Lashley told Barbados TODAY that while he is not clear to whom his former party colleague was referring to, such talk could be seen as insensitive to anyone fitting the bill, which may include Bradshaw.
Back in August during a meeting with her constituents in the presence of Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Bradshaw announced that she had been recently diagnosed with the early stages of breast cancer.
“I come to you tonight in the spirit of openness… a few weeks ago I discovered a lump in my breast… the good news is that it is treatable because they have found it early,” she said at the time.
On Tuesday, Bradshaw returned to Parliament for the first time since beginning treatment for illness. She received a rousing welcome from her colleagues in the Lower House.
Lashley extended best wishes to his successor and implored all political parties to do the same.
“First of all, I want to wish Bradshaw a very speedy recovery and believe everyone across the political divide should wish well. We cannot let politics get in the way of how we treat one another and how we behave to each other as human beings,” Lashley stressed.