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Speaker feels threatened by Senator Lewis’s comment in House

Speaker feels threatened by Senator Lewis’s comment in House


Speaker of the House of Assembly Hendrick Alexander says he feels threatened by certain comments made to him by another member of the House and as a result, he has reported the matter to the police.

The offending comments were made by Opposition senator Dr Linton Lewis Tuesday, {{more}}after Alexander ordered him to leave the House.

“Don’t worry, you have to come to East St George. You have to come to Calliaqua,” Lewis told Alexander as he walked out of the Assembly Chamber.

Alexander, in an interview with SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday afternoon, said he has reported the matter to the police, as he understood Lewis’s words to be a threat, as Lewis “has a lot of thugs around him.”

Lewis, however, also speaking to SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday, denied that he was threatening the Speaker with physical harm.

“That cannot be a threat. How can that be a threat? A threat is a threat to kill. A serious threat is something that is against the law,” Lewis, an attorney-at-law said.

Lewis explained that Alexander is in the habit of visiting Calliaqua, where, according to Lewis, Alexander brags about what he has done in the House.

When he does that, Lewis said, the people of Calliaqua take him to task.

“Hendrick is accustomed to coming to Calliaqua….He says about who he threw out the House and talking about House business. He does it all the time, in two shops,” Lewis said.

According to Lewis, when the Speaker does this, he gets a negative response from the people of the area.

“I said, well okay, you have to go to Calliaqua. When he comes here to deal with that now, the people will take him up on it. He knows that. He knows that is what I mean.

“… If he comes to Calliaqua, he has to confront the people of Calliaqua,” Lewis said.

Alexander, however, vehemently denied Lewis’s claims.

“That is absolutely a lie!

“Linton is known to be a big liar,” Alexander said.

“I don’t ever brag about anything I do in the House of Parliament. No, he is

a liar. He is lying, he is lying. I will say that forcefully!”

Alexander also accused Lewis of calling him an indecent name recently.

“Linton accosted me a couple Sunday nights ago and called me an a**hole. Twice, in Calliaqua. I am telling, you. He is a liar.”

Lewis also denied that accusation, saying rather, it was Alexander who accosted him at the time in question.

Lewis’s expulsion from the House on Tuesday came after he responded to a statement made by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who was wrapping up debate on the 2015 Budget, saying it was “a lie.”

“That’s a lie, again, Mr Speaker,” Lewis said.

The Speaker, who had earlier asked Lewis to “discontinue [the] kind of discourse [he was] carrying on with,” responded by asking him to leave the Parliament, as he knew that the word was “unparliamentary.”

Lewis took offence, claiming that he had heard other members of Parliament, including Government senator Julian Francis, use the word, “all the time.”

The Speaker, in response, said, “I wasn’t there.”

Yesterday, on Nice Radio, Lewis played two audio recordings from sittings of Parliament, in which voices, which appear to be those of Francis, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves and Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace, say another parliamentarian is lying.

In the first recording, a voice, which appears to be that of Francis, interjects with “You are lying,” while member of Parliament Daniel Cummings is making a presentation.

In the second recording, Gonsalves, in response to a comment made by Eustace, said: “…Again, this is an outrageous lie…. I am telling you, you are lying…,”

To which the Leader of the Opposition replied, “I am equally telling you, you are lying.”

The Prime Minister then retorted, “You are an outrageous liar of the worse kind.”

Neither Francis, Gonsalves or Eustace was censured in those cases by the Speaker.

When Lewis left the House on Tuesday, the other members of the Opposition who were in Parliament at the time, including the Leader of the Opposition, also left the House in solidarity with Lewis.

The town of Calliaqua is in the East St George constituency, which Lewis is contesting on an Opposition New Democratic Party ticket. Both Lewis and Alexander originate from Calliaqua.