Former minister for social transformation and parliamentarian Hamilton Lashley has rubbished reports that Opposition Leader Joseph Atherley has invited him to be part of a new political party.
Lashley told Barbados TODAY that he did not know where such a suggestion came from, and indicated that as Barbados struggles to overcome economic challenges, now was not the time to talk politics.
Lashley said: “I was amazed to hear that the Opposition Leader invited Hamilton Lashley to assist in the formation of a political party. That is the farthest thing away from the truth. Forming a political party? Of course not, what they want to put Ms Lashley son in?”
Media reports earlier today quoted Atherley, who won a seat in last General Elections on a Barbados Labour Party (BLP) ticket, and crossed the floor just days later, as saying he has been involved in discussions with Lashley who has been showing interest in what he has been doing.
The Opposition Leader said that yesterday Lashley attended a meeting with his team of spokespersons to look at matters related to culture and the arts, according to reports.
Atherley said: “Whether or not he is to be identified as an official spokesperson with reference to any specific area, I am not at this point wanting to say that.
“Suffice it to say we are happy with the interest level that he has demonstrated and with the input that he has been making for some of the discussions that we have been having.
“We certainly would be happy to have him involved with us totally, but that is a matter, which he would have to speak to himself.”
Lashley, who confirmed that he attended the meeting at Parliament Buildings yesterday, said there was no discussion about joining or forming any party.
“Yesterday’s meeting was not a political discussion of any sort,” Lashley stressed.
He told Barbados TODAY: “It was strictly a meeting of national interest and of national concern in terms of providing ways of assisting the transformation of the Barbadian economy, using culture and the arts.
“And then on the other hand in the event that there was a national emergency, how best to deal with it and what systems they are putting in place. Of course I had an interest in that.
“I think any Barbadian would have an interest in that. My thing is that I believe the good Reverend should carry these type of initiatives that he is talking about across the entire country.”
Lashley, who served as a minister under both the Democratic Labour Party and the BLP, said his focus was on seeing what he could do as a community activist to help Barbadians deal with the austerity measures of the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation Programme (BERT). firstname.lastname@example.org