Gibbs’ ‘head start’ on Atherley

Chris Gibbs, the Barbados Labour Party’s newcomer contesting the St Michael West riding, was its de facto member of Parliament for the last four years, said Prime Minister Mia Mottley.

He was officially introduced on Tuesday night when the BLP mounted a joint platform for St Michael West and St Philip West in support of Gibbs and candidate Kay McConney.

Gibbs was selected to replace Bishop Joseph Atherley, who switched from the BLP to become the Leader of the Opposition after the BLP swept all 30 of the parliamentary seats in the 2018 General Election.

Atherley went on to form the People’s Party for Democracy and Development a year later and this month announced a coalition with the United Progressive Party to form the Alliance for Progress Party. He also switched to run in the neighbouring St Michael Central constituency this time around.

Mottley said that before even contesting the election, Gibbs had managed to force out Atherley.

In his maiden speech Gibbs pledged to be committed to the area, saying that Atherley had left the residents at the altar twice. He recounted his initial canvassing and some of the difficulty he encountered but pegged that to Atherley leaving a bad taste in the mouth of constituents.

He said that his entry into politics had to do with the disappointment of having to drive through sewage on the South Coast and the inability to access foreign exchange under the Democratic Labour Party administration. (AC)

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