Less than 24 hours after the resignation of one of its own rising stars, the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) has embraced a former member of the People’s Party for Democracy and Development (PdP), Paul Gibson, into its fold.
During a virtual meeting Thursday, DLP president Verla De Peiza announced that Gibson, a pharmacist who served as the PdP’s spokesman for health, joined the party “sometime this week”. He is an apparent replacement for Simon Alleyne, the DLP’s former health spokesman, who announced he was quitting the party, expressing an interest in switching to the ruling Barbados Labour Party (BLP).
Gibson also contested the 2018 general elections as a candidate for Solutions Barbados in St Michael South.
When contacted by Barbados TODAY, Gibson declined to comment but indicated he would be making a statement on Friday. De Peiza said she had wished Alleyne well in his political endeavours.
DLP president De Peiza said: “I recognize that a political commentator said it is a non-event but for the DLP any loss is any event. We will not call it a significant event but any loss is an event.
“However, we balance that because we have had persons coming over to us from the BLP and the PdP. Just this week we were having our council meetings and we had Paul Gibson, formerly of the PdP join us.
“Specifically in relation to Simon Alleyne, I believe it is out there that his disappointment at not being named the candidate in a particular constituency [led to his resignation]. He didn’t hold it back and I will say in his favour he did not blindside the party. He had conversations but disappointment happens in politics.”
De Peiza recalled her own disappointment at the choice of James Paul over her as the candidate for St Michael West Central in 2008.
She also referred Richard Sealy’s loss to Ralph Thorne in St Michael North and Donville Inniss’ loss in St Philip during the early years of their political careers.
“Those two had to wait until another cycle and so did I,” she said. “People will be disappointed… but how you deal with disappointment is a personal issue, that’s not a party issue.”
De Peiza also revealed that the DLP had fully ratified ten seats to date, but would soon have upwards of 20 ratified.
Leader of the PdP, Bishop Joseph Atherley, the Opposition Leader, told Barbados TODAY he was aware of Gibson’s intentions to leave the party about a month ago.
“He indicated about three weeks ago that he was thinking in terms of going to help the DLP rebuild,” Bishop Atherley said. “I wished him well and told him that it is every man’s choice so far as political participation is concerned. So whether it is official notice or not the fact is that he did indicate about three and a half weeks ago that he was thinking to go and join the Dems and I wished him well.”
He said Gibson’s departure would not have a negative effect on the PdP.
Atherley continued: “I wouldn’t say he was one of the more senior members. He was one of the members more heard from because for a large part of the time he had been dealing with the COVID-related matters so he was perhaps one of the persons being heard because he was appointed to speak with reference to health-related matters.
“But we don’t see it as a blow. I don’t call into question a man’s decision as to how he will make his contribution to his country politically. I don’t think of it in terms of a blow but it won’t stop the PdP.” ([email protected])