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Thursday 14 December 2017
Politics

Barry: Ignore my jacket, put food on the table

Princes Town MP Barry Padarath. PHOTO BY SUREASH CHOLAI.

Princes Town MP Barry Padarath was unfazed by Government taunts over his fashion-sense and said that rather than Government MPs mocking his jacket as a ‘tablecloth’, they should instead focus on putting food on tables in family houses across the nation.

The row all began when House Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George invited Padarath to, “take a little walk”, during the Budget presentation on Monday.

This as she repeatedly asked the Opposition not to talk during Finance Minister Colm Imbert’s presentation. As Padarath rose to exit, a voice coming from the direction of Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young, was heard mockingly telling Padarath, “Go to the tearoom and return the tablecloth.”

Newsday was unable to contact MP Young for a comment yesterday.

In reply to Newsday’s query yesterday, Padarath said, “I will take no advice from them in Government...whether fashion or otherwise. Have they seen the state they have this country? Stop studying the tablecloth and study the food on people’s table.”

Urging Government to ignore his outfit, Padarath said, “I’m more concerned about the kitchen table than the ‘tablecloth’. I encourage members of the Government to focus more on the kitchen table in terms of bread and butter issues, with respect to food prices and the quality of people’s lives rather than personal insults.”

Regarding his jacket, Padarath said it is of European design, was bought overseas from the Zara 2017 Collection. “Plaids are ‘in’ right now,” he said.

Padarath said that half the time, the general public do not hear comments hurled at MPs from across the floor, some of which are quite insulting. He said that from day one, he has been attacked personally and professionally but remains undeterred.

“It’s part of it (an MP’s lot). I’ll not be thin-skinned about it. I also give as good as I get.” Otherwise Padarath said he obeyed the Speaker’s directive during the Budget debate. “The Honourable Speaker encouraged me to take a walk. Now I cannot challenge the discretion of the Honourable Speaker and I didn’t want to derail in any way the Budget presentation yesterday, so I just walked out and walked back in.

“The Honourable Speaker did not quote a standing order and I just left it to be, rather than me become the issue. I just allowed it to slide.”

Opposition Senator Khadijah Ameen told Newsday she was a little confused as to which standing order might authorise the Speaker to ask a Member to take a walk, as she knew the rules to allow the Speaker to issue a first and second warning and then a partial or full suspension.

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