BARBADOS ROLLED OUT THE RED CARPET for the Earl and Countess of Wessex yesterday, but not without protest. Government MP Hamilton Lashley boycotted events organized for the Royal couple’s state visit, the first being the Joint Sitting of Parliament, to take a stand against Britain over its controversial Air Passenger Duty (APD) and its threat to suspend aid to countries that ban homosexuality. Lashley told the WEEKEND NATION in a telephone interview shortly after the end of the sitting that his absence was intended “to let the British Government know that as a Member of Parliament of Barbados I am very angry at the position that they’re taking against us and other small island states, as well as other African countries”. “Some Barbadians, particularly those in my age group that grew up like me, stupid under the Union Jack, are not going to like my actions and they’re probably going to condemn me but I have to live with myself and who I am as a Black person. Rather than just sitting down and being a recipient of the threats and the impositions by the British Prime Minister, I’ve decided that Hamilton Lashley is going to take a stand,” he said. Read the full story in today's WEEKEND NATION.