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Stuart: Arthur not to be trusted

CAROL MARTINDALE, carolmartindale@nationnews.com

Added 18 February 2013


PRIME MINISTER Freundel Stuart, in a blistering attack on Barbados Labour Party (BLP) Leader Owen Arthur last night, cast him further as a conspirator against his own party colleagues and a man whom Barbadians should not entrust with prime ministership again. Stuart addressed hundreds of boisterous party faithful at Hilda Skeene Primary School’s playing field, a last-minute shift of location from Six Roads, St Philip, to avoid a clash with the BLP, which had a mass meeting scheduled for the same location. Days after Arthur admitted on a platform that his comments to Stuart about taking former Opposition Leader Mia Mottley “off his hands” were actually a joke, Stuart fired back. This time, the Prime Minister displayed what he said was the handwritten note on a big screen. Stuart said the note was penned by Arthur and passed on to him through his friend, attorney Hal Gollop. It was evidence of the kind of leadership Arthur would bring back to Bay Street as Prime Minister, Stuart remarked. Telling the crowd that the handwritten note begging him to take Mottley off Arthur’s hands “for anybody you want to give me in exchange, I am prepared to take from you” was not the only message that Arthur sent to him through Gollop. “If a man cannot be loyal to his own parliamentary group, someone who was his former Deputy Prime Minister, someone who held the second highest office under the constitution – the office of Attorney General of Barbados, if he can’t be loyal to them . . . can he be loyal to you?” Stuart asked the responsive yellow shirt-clad crowd. Stuart, who has risen dramatically as the preferred Prime Minister in a new NATION/CADRES poll, told party faithful they had to reject the political culture fostered by the BLP of “back-stabbing, bad-mouthing, whisper campaigns and cursing people in the middle of the night”. He said that kind of behaviour was not acceptable, whether it was inside or outside of politics. (GE)

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