Barbados gets new Opposition leader

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

Prime Minister Mia Mottley has sought to downplay the decision by one of her legislators to leave the ruling Barbados Labour Party (BLP) and become the island’s new Opposition Leader.

Mottley, who led the BLP to a clean sweep of all 30 seats in the January 2022 general elections, confirmed late Friday that she had received correspondence from the president indicating that Ralph Thorne, a government backbencher had quit in order to become the new Opposition Leader.

This is the second successive occasion that Mottley has had to face the situation of a government legislator leaving to become the head of the Opposition in the Parliament.

Following the 2018 election when the BLP again won all 30 seats, Bishop Joseph Atherley quit and subsequently formed a new party that failed to win a seat in the 2022 general election.

Thorne has not made any public statement regarding his decision, but Mottley, 58, said “well, these things happen, it is what is, it may be a case of easy come, easy go.

“But whatever happens we will see and we will move forward. Mr Thorne must know; he has not communicated with me, nor has he communicated with the general secretary of the Party, but I wish him all the best,” she added.

Thorne, the parliamentary representative for Christ Church South, was first elected in 2018 during the BLP’s historic sweep of the elections. The attorney was not appointed to a ministerial portfolio.

Thorne retained his seat in the 2022 elections with 2229 votes, amassing 70 per cent of the votes and was again not included in the Cabinet. However, he was nominated to be the Chair of a standing committee on matters pertaining to Governance of both Houses of Parliament.

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