For the second time in just over two years Prime Minister Mia Mottley has reshuffled her Cabinet.
However, embattled Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Kay McConney is not among those affected.
Mottley made the surprising announcement this evening while speaking at the Barbados Labour Party’s (BLP) 83rd Annual Conference at Queen’s Park.
Before scores of supporters, Mottley revealed that she was switching the portfolios of Dr Jerome Walcott, Senior Minister Kerrie Symmonds, Senator Lisa Cummins and Ian Gooding-Edghill, effective October 26.
But despite several calls for McConney to be fired over the recent Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) survey fiasco, Mottley expressed her continued confidence in McConney by allowing her to keep her job.
Dr Walcott, the Senior Minister of Social Sectors and Environment has been named as Minister of Health and Wellness, taking over the portfolio formerly held by Gooding-Edghill who was named Minister of Tourism and International Transport.
Former Minister of Tourism and International Transport Senator Lisa Cummins is the new Minister of Energy and Business Development with responsibilities for International Business and Trade, taking over from Symmonds who was named as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
Additionally, Member of Parliament for the City of Bridgetown Corey Lane, the former parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, will now serve in the Office of the Attorney-General as Minister of State with responsibility for Crime Prevention.
Back in July 2020, just over two years after assuming office, Mottley also made a sweep of changes to her Cabinet.
On that occasion George Payne, Trevor Prescod and Lucille Moe were relieved of their ministerial duties.
Moments before making today’s announcement, Mottley said the changes were necessary to improve the efficiency of Government.
“I have now like any good captain to make some adjustments again to make sure that we will extract the best and the most that we can extract in order for us to wrestle down these challenges that are within our capacity to fight. We need to come together strong to fight dem other ones,” Mottley said.
“Accordingly I have advised that there will be adjustments to my Cabinet as of Wednesday, October 26. The adjustments are intended to strengthen the Government’s hand to deal with the issues that are before us. I have confidence that we can do it and when you understand what the adjustments are you will understand the wisdom of the decisions that we are making today.”
The Prime Minister explained that Dr Walcott had “achieved great things in health care” including the modernization of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) and had also been the driving force behind the establishment of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).
She said Senator Cummins was responsible for the Barbados Coalition of Industries and Service Providers and that her training was in foreign trade and diplomacy.
Mottley further explained that Symmonds had worked closely with the longest-serving Minister of Foreign Trade Billie Miller, while Gooding-Edghill had spent his entire life in the tourism industry.
She said Lane would work closely with all of the respective ministries in trying to reduce crime in the country. (RB)