Posted on

Leader of the House says he is not distracted by disruptions in Parliament

Leader of the House says he is not  distracted by disruptions in Parliament


Disruptions in the House of Assembly do not distract the Leader of the House from doing his work.{{more}}

“It doesn’t affect me. I have my work to do…. I accomplished the work that I set out to do yesterday,” Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves told journalists last Friday.

The Prime Minister was responding to a question during a press conference, concerning what effect unscheduled interruptions by Members of Parliament have on the proceedings.

In recent times, a number of outbursts have caused temporary disruptions in the House, many of them ending with Opposition members of parliament leaving the House prematurely, or being asked to leave.

Most recently, last Thursday, Parliamentary Representative for West Kingstown Daniel Cummings created a stir, resulting in an adjournment of the House, when he requested that he be immediately allowed to bring into the House, a special chair which had been bought for him.

Also, during last week’s sitting, members of the Opposition burst into applause when Senator Vynnette Frederick entered Parliament late. Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace explained that the applause was because this was the first sitting of the House since Frederick had been rearrested on July 11. Frederick has been charged with swearing falsely, fabricating evidence and making false declarations.

Speaker of the House Hendrick Alexander and MP for Central Kingstown St Claire Leacock also have a history of verbal clashes in the House, which have, in the past, caused delays. The most recent of these occurred last Thursday, when Leacock was asked to leave by the Speaker.

Prime Minister Gonsalves indicated that, as the longest sitting member of Parliament, he has yet to see such behaviour.

“I’ve seen a lot of things over the last 20 years. I know when I was in Opposition any of the Speakers who pulled me up, I will come back from the brink and eat humble pie.

“Even when my family Nollie McDowall, after I beat him, they brought him in the House as Speaker… I had to submit to him. One day when he and I clashed he said ‘I will name you’, I said ‘I don’t really think I will stay for you to name me’. I picked up my bags and I told my colleagues to leave. I don’t have to behave bad.

“I have never seen that kind of behaviour yesterday,” Gonsalves said.(JJ)