Barbados’ Loyal Opposition Says No!

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The following was distributed by The Barbados Labour Party and contains the details of the No Confidence Motion to be laid against The Speaker of The House of Assembly.

PARLIAMENT OF BARBADOS

MOTION of NO CONFIDENCE
Against
The Speaker of the Honourable the House of Assembly of Barbados

WHEREAS the Standing Orders of the Honourable the House of Assembly provides for the election of a Speaker at the beginning of each Parliament and before the House proceeds to the dispatch of any other business when so directed by His Excellency the Governor General through the Clerk of Parliament;

AND WHEREAS the powers of the Honourable Speaker include those set out in the Standing Orders of the Honourable the House of Assembly as well as a general power to regulate the conduct of business in all matters not provided for in the Standing Orders;

AND WHEREAS the Honourable Speaker is the representative of the House itself in its powers, proceedings and dignity;

AND WHEREAS the Honourable Speaker is the spokesman or representative of the House of Assembly in its relations with Her Majesty, the Senate and other authorities and persons outside Parliament;

AND WHEREAS the Honourable Speaker presides over the debates of the House of Assembly and enforces the observance of all rules for preserving order in its proceedings;

AND WHEREAS the Honourable Speaker on ceremonial occasions presents addresses to the House of Assembly and the Senate of Barbados from Her Majesty, communicates to the House letters and documents addressed to him as Speaker or to the House as a whole;

AND WHEREAS the Honourable Speaker communicates the resolutions of the Honourable House to those to whom they are directed, conveys its thanks and expresses its censure, its reprimands and its admonitions;

AND WHEREAS the Honourable Speaker issues warrants to execute the orders of the House for the commitment of offenders, for the attendance of witnesses in custody and for giving effect to other orders requiring the sanction of a legal form;

AND WHEREAS the Honourable Speaker represents the House of Parliament in a wide range of public forums and takes the lead in engaging with the public and informing them about the role and work of the House;

AND WHEREAS by reason of the foregoing the office of Speaker requires the holder thereof to possess qualities and attributes which promote and advance the dignity

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and honour of the Honourable the House of Assembly and require the highest probity in the conduct of the affairs of the Honourable the House of Assembly;

AND WHEREAS the office of Speaker is of such eminence that it is ranked No. 9 in the Table of Precedence for Barbados;

AND WHEREAS the Honourable Member for St. Michael West was elected the Speaker of the Honourable the House of Assembly on the 12th day February of 2008 and re-elected as Speaker on the 6th day of March 2013;

AND WHEREAS since his election as Speaker the Honourable Speaker he has been appointed to the honour and dignity of Queen’s Counsel and as such is a senior attorney at law who is expected to set proper examples for other members of the legal profession;

AND WHEREAS the Honourable Speaker acting in his capacity as Attorney-at-Law on behalf of the Estate of Muriel Worrell received the proceeds of three (3) time deposits from the Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago and also received in 2012 the proceeds of sale of a property at Dayrells Road, Christ Church owned by the said Estate;

AND WHEREAS the Personal Representative of the said Estate made numerous requests of the Honourable Speaker acting in his capacity as Attorney-at-Law for the said Estate and trustee of the client funds belonging to the said Estate;

AND WHEREAS the Honourable Speaker in his capacity as Attorney-at-Law failed, neglected and/or refused in spite of repeated demands to pay into the hands of the Personal Representative all sums due and owing by him to the said Estate in a timely manner or at all;

AND WHEREAS the Honourable Speaker having failed to hand over the money as aforesaid, an action was commenced by the Personal Representative against the Honourable Speaker in his capacity as Attorney-at-Law for the purpose of recovering the said sums; and a judgment was entered on the 15th day of December, 2014 by the High Court of Barbados against the Honourable Speaker in the matter of High Court Suit No. 746 of 2014 ordering that the Honourable Speaker in his capacity as Attorney-at-Law render an account of all sums belonging to the said Estate received by him in his capacity as Attorney-at-Law and that he pay to the Claimant and Personal Representative of the said Estate all sums shown by the said account with interest thereon;

AND WHEREAS the conduct of the Honourable Speaker in his legal professional capacity is inextricably linked to his position as Speaker insofar as in both capacities he is expected to display dignity, honour and the highest standards of probity;

AND WHEREAS the failure of the Honourable Speaker in his legal professional capacity to pay the funds being held by him as aforesaid to the Personal Representative on demand was a flagrant breach of Rule 5, Rule 30, Rule 70 and Rule 74 of the Legal

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Professional Code of Ethics 1988 made under the Legal Profession Act Chapter 370A of the Laws of Barbados;

AND WHEREAS the person who occupies the position of the Speaker of the Honourable the House of Assembly must enjoy the full and utter confidence of the Honourable Members of the Honourable House and must conduct himself with honour, dignity and the highest standards of probity;

AND WHEREAS the public of Barbados must also repose its confidence in the dignity and honour of the Honourable the House of Assembly if the Honourable House is to effectively fulfill its role in the Governance of the Island pursuant to the Constitution of Barbados;

AND WHEREAS the aforementioned judgment and the aforementioned breaches have served to reduce the confidence which the Honourable Members of the Honourable the House of Assembly have in the Honourable Speaker and which the public of Barbados should repose in this Honourable House;

AND WHEREAS the Honourable Speaker has only repaid the said sums pursuant to the aforementioned Order of the High Court of Barbados ONLY after the fact of the said judgment was made public on the 11th day of January 2015;

AND WHEREAS the aforementioned conduct of the Honourable Speaker in his legal professional capacity is not expiated by reason only of his subsequent repayment of the said sums due and owing;

AND WHEREAS the aforementioned conduct of the Honourable Speaker was referred to the Committee of Privileges on the 13th day of January, 2015 by Her Honour the Deputy Speaker of the Honourable the House of Assembly, the Honourable Member for St. John;

AND WHEREAS the said Committee has not as of the 4th day of March, 2015 presented its report to the Honourable the House of Assembly;

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Honourable the House of Assembly censures the Honourable Speaker for the aforementioned conduct and the aforementioned breaches;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Honourable the House of Assembly no longer possesses any confidence in the Honourable Speaker;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Honourable the House of Assembly call upon the Honourable Speaker to resign from the esteemed and venerable position of Speaker of the Honourable the House of Assembly with immediate effect.

4th March, 2015