Democratic Labour Party (DLP) president Verla De Peiza has bid longstanding member George Pilgrim farewell, following his decision to walk away from the political organisation that he served for 26 years.
However, she did not appear to count his departure as a major loss, offering very brief responses to questions about his departure.
“He’s a longstanding servant of the party and we wish him all the best,” she told Barbados TODAY, moments after confirming his resignation.
“We are in a rebuilding process and that happens,” she added, when quizzed further about the developments.
According to De Peiza, Pilgrim gave no reason for his decision to part ways with the party.
Pilgrim, a former DLP general secretary, was convincingly beaten in internal elections in September when he challenged De Peiza for the party’s presidency.
Prior to that, Pilgrim ran on a DLP ticket four times and was defeated each time. He ran in St Thomas in the 1994 and 1999 General Elections as well as the 2001 by-election. He last ran in 2018 in St John where the DLP suffered its first-ever defeat in that constituency.
Recently, he served as campaign manager for DLP candidate Floyd Reifer in his bid to become Member of Parliament for St George North, which ended in defeat last Wednesday.
Pilgrim’s decision to leave the party came on the heels of an announcement by Prime Minister Mia Mottley that two former DLP candidates in the 2018 general election – George Conolly and Rodney Grant – had joined the ranks of the ruling Barbados Labour Party (BLP).
De Peiza admitted that the loss of Conolly and Grant, who joined the party mere months before the election, was not as significant as Pilgrim’s decision.
“Both of them joined the party, I believe, around January  to run in 2018 and they haven’t been seen here since,” she said.