The feud between Minister of Agriculture Indar Weir and his predecessor as St Philip South MP, Anthony Wood, spilled on to the floor of Parliament, as he lashed out at “critics” and “detractors” who he said are “pregnant with envy” and have clear political agendas.
The Minister was speaking in the House of Assembly during the Fair Trading Commission (Amendment) Bill, when he complained of “sinister” attempts to undermine the Mia Mottley administration.
Weir’s comments came days after Wood announced his resignation from Labour. On May 24, Wood published a paid press advertisement declaring that he was withdrawing his support for Weir.
In media reports, Wood said: “I’m very concerned that the more things change the more they remain the same as it relates to aspects of governance in the country, the party’s glaring failure to address issues as it had committed to in the manifesto, to demonstrate tangible, tangible signals of stamping out corruption. They really have not honoured their commitment as contained in the manifesto .”
A visibly incensed Weir told the Lower Chamber that all ministers had declared their assets, thus making any accusations of corruption unfounded.
He declared: “You would imagine that we came to Government and every single minister in this Parliament had to declare their assets. So if you had to declare your assets it means a process has begun, and for anyone to assume any modicum of corruption among this team is a person that has set an agenda over and beyond human imagination.”
The St Philip South MP called the current and constant negative comments “envy”.
He said: “The only thing I can attribute it to is pregnancy in envy. It can only be because we have declared all of our assets, all. It is easy now to check and see if any ministers involved in corruption.
“People are seeking to destroy the genuine and most sincere projects that are being brought here to this honourable chamber for the sole benefit of all Barbadians and sometimes these acts are sinister. I have seen a number of sinister acts within recent times.”
Weir cautioned that those who seek to destroy must remember to check for “skeletons in their closets”.
“I believe that when people come in a sinister manner they should be dealt with in a way that says when you seek to destroy somebody’s character you must note that you also need to look at yourself and make sure there are not skeletons in your closet,” he told the House.
The Minister urged Barbadians not to be distracted but to focus on what they are benefitting from.
Weir said: “It’s a very petty and silly narrative making jokes at a time when we have just managed a COVID period where everybody was able to live so comfortably that they hardly recognised that we took them through three months of a country shutdown.
“I, personally, never thought we would have gotten through COVID the way we did. The Minister of Health did an excellent job and now we are poise to rebuild tourism.”
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