As far as former Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Member of Parliament and Minister Stephen Lashley is concerned, former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart hurt the party’s chances of victory in Wednesday’s general elections.
In fact, he said comments made by the man in whose Cabinet he once sat as Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, might have sealed the DLP’s fate in the polls.
Breaking his three-year political silence to deliver a fiery defence of his administration’s decade-long handling of the country’s affairs, Stuart said at a DLP spot meeting last week he was not ashamed about anything that happened in that period.
“Nobody in Barbados or outside of Barbados can get Freundel Jerome Stuart to feel ashamed about what happened between 2008 and 2018. It was a glorious period,” he had said.
Lashley suggested that was a turning point in the DLP’s election campaign.
“It was … an enormous mistake for Freundel Stuart to be allowed to take to the platform and speak at a political meeting. I’m of the view that Stuart’s comments railroaded the DLP’s campaign and ignited persons who were not quite keen on voting to make that dash to the polls,” he told Barbados TODAY.
“The DLP should now do what I had recommended in 2018 – publicly caucus with the public on where it has gone wrong and what is needed to rebuild and refocus.”
Meanwhile, Lashley said if Prime Minister Mia Mottley offers the DLP an opportunity to have a presence in the Senate, as she did after the BLP’s first whitewash of the incumbent party, they should take it.
But he said the party should be careful who it puts in the Upper House.
Following the DLP’s 30-nil defeat in 2018, the then campaign manager Robert ‘Bobby’ Morris advised the party not to take up Mottley’s offer of two Senate appointments.
“It was misguided for Bobby Morris to be allowed to make a public statement … rejecting such an offer by PM Mottley,” Lashley said. “The DLP also needs to carefully choose who speaks on its behalf and, sadly, some whose days have long past should never be speaking on behalf of the DLP.”