FULL STORY: Sir Lloyd’s say
Former Prime Minister Sir LLOYD SANDIFORD has given a vote of confidence to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s leadership ability following last month’s reported challenge by some Members of Parliament.
Speaking at an Ilaro Court reception Wednesday night on the eve of his return to China where he is serving as Resident Ambassador, Sir Lloyd said he had only learnt of the “whole affair” when he came home recently.
He told the WEEKEND NATION he was “surprised” by the way in which MPs in the Stuart administration had sought to have their concerns about the Prime Minister’s leadership addressed.
Sir Lloyd, who served as Prime Minister from 1987 to 1994, was responding to a report that 11 Government MPs had written the Prime Minister seeking an “urgent audience” to discuss matters pertaining to his leadership and “to chart a path forward for the retention of our party in Govcernment”.
Reluctantly commenting on the matter, Sir Lloyd said: “I have every confidence in [Stuart’s] leadership”.
He said though he could not and would not attempt to tell the Prime Minister how to deal with whatever the situation was, it was a matter that?Stuart would “have to handle in the way he sees fit”.
While stressing that he was no longer a politician, and that he was mindful of the neutrality of his current position as a diplomat, Sir Lloyd conceded there were possibly “some parallels” between the current situation and the crisis he faced as Prime Minister in the 1990s when challenged by members of his own Cabinet.
In 1994, Sir Lloyd narrowly lost a no-confidence motion brought against him by the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) when several members of the then ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) broke ranks and voted in support of the motion. In response, he called elections two years before they were constitutionally due and lost to the Owen Arthur-led BLP.
But he argued “it was a different situation” and suggested economic conditions had strongly influenced the disaffection which had eventually resulted in the demise of his administration. On the other hand, he thought the current situation “seemed to be of a different nature” and “appears to be more about a group of people”.
Sir Lloyd said there there were procedures set out to deal with the kind of problem which he “understood” the parliamentarians involved wanted to have addressed, and he thought they would have been better advised to have followed those procedures.