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Wednesday 20 November 2019
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[UPDATED] LEAVE MY CHILD ALONE

Padarath responds to picong after Parliament row

Princes Town MP Barry Padarath arrives at Parliament for Finance Minister Colm Imbert's budget presentation on October 7. PHOTO BY ANGELO MARCELLE -
Princes Town MP Barry Padarath arrives at Parliament for Finance Minister Colm Imbert's budget presentation on October 7. PHOTO BY ANGELO MARCELLE -

PRINCES Town MP Barry Padarath advised his political opponents to attack him if they wish, but not his baby daughter, giving Newsday his take on last Friday’s row in the Standing Committee of the House of Representatives.

Padarath had queried a $4,000 cake for Carifesta, with Culture Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly replying it was for 500 volunteers, at $8 each, saying he may be out of touch with events due to being very busy as a new parent. He also queried the Carifesta budget rising from $24 million to $27 million, plus $5 million this year.

Gadbsy-Dolly had said, “I say congratulations to him. I know how it is with young parents. He may have missed the fact Carifesta was spoken about on numerous occasions in the media at $43 million and so I understand his confusion. I sympathise. I remember my day.” Padarath angrily replied, “I don’t need any parenting advice from the MP and Minister.”

In cross-talk, Gadsby-Dolly had giggled and quipped, “Oh, but you do. Yes, you do.” While the duo sparred, the Speaker suspended the sitting. Yesterday, asked about a Government MP telling him take his handbag and leave, Padarath replied, “I have endured five years of that and I’m still here, still standing.”

He said he had faced such barbs from day one in the House, saying the public usually does not hear many spiteful remarks shot across the chamber floor.

“I am the politician, not my child. Attack me, and attack me on substance.

“Don’t be condescending and nasty just to try to score cheap political points.”

He said 75 per cent of some 1,000 comments online about the exchange had been in his support.

“The TT public is unforgiving once you cross the line.”

Saying a Government MP had told him to apply for maternity leave, Padarath said, “It’s always a personal thing. Those things don’t bother me.”

He said the days were gone of just sitting down and quietly accepting things dished out, he said many people compared him to outspoken US freshman congressman Alexandra Ortega-Cortez.

“I saw what Kamla Persad-Bissessar had to endure, and she turned out to be TT’s best prime minister.”

Saying he had endured many personal attacks, Padarath said, “Ill put an end to it, when it comes to my child.”

He said last Friday he had reminded Gadsby-Dolly of his role in bringing down former sports minister Daryl Smith over a dispute with his former secretary resulting in a sexual harassment settlement.

“The public has grown tremendously. They saw through Gadsby-Dolly’s strategy. People are no longer thinking along tribal lines.”

He could not identify the MP who had made the handbag remark on Friday.

Padarath reckoned Speaker Bridgid Anisette-George could do more to bring to heel those MPs who make disparaging remarks under their breath.

Padarath has had several high-profile clashes with Government MPs and been put out by the Speaker when deemed disruptive.

• Minister of National Security Stewart Young once likened his plaid jacket to a tablecloth, in a parting shot when Padarath was being put out by the Speaker. Padarath, in reply later told Newsday, “Stop studying the tablecloth and study the food on people’s table. 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.”

• A giggling Diego Martin Central MP Daryl Smith had once referred to Padarath as “The Princess” before correctly saying “The Member for Princes Town” to Padarath’s chagrin.

• Padarath once stormed out of the House with Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh to protest a water conservation advert done by PNM activist and comedian Daryl Dookoo who had previously insulted Padarath.

• He was ejected from the House when he protested the Speaker’s non-consent to his motion protesting a lack of water-supply in his constituency.

This story was originally published with the title "Padarath: 'Hit me, not my child'" and has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.

PRINCES Town MP Barry Padarath advised his political opponents to attack him if they wish, but not his baby daughter, giving Newsday his take on last Friday’s row in the Standing Committee of the House of Representatives.

Padarath had queried a $4,000 cake for Carifesta, with Culture Minister Dr Nyan Gadbsy-Dolly replying it was for 500 volunteers, at $8 each, saying he may be out of touch with events due to being a new parent. She offered him some parenting advice, but he angrily retorted he needed no such help.

Asked about a Government MP telling him take his handbag and leave, Padarath replied, “I have endured five years of that and I’m still here, still standing.”

He said he had faced such barbs from day one in the House, saying the public usually does not hear many spiteful remarks shot across the chamber floor.

“I am the politician, not my child. Attack me, and attack me on substance.

“Don’t be condescending and nasty just to try to score cheap political points.”

He said 75 per cent of some 1,000 comments online about the exchange had been in his support.

“The TT public is unforgiving once you cross the line.”

Saying a Government MP had told him to apply for maternity leave, Padarath said, “It’s always a personal thing. Those things don’t bother me.”

He said the days were gone of just sitting down and quietly accepting things dished out, he said many people compared him to outspoken US freshman congressman Alexandra Ortega-Cortez. “I saw what Kamla Persad-Bissessar had to endure, and she turned out to be TT’s best prime minister.”

Saying he had endured many personal attacks, Padarath said, “Ill put an end to it, when it comes to my child.” He said last Friday he had reminded Gadsby-Dolly of his role in bringing down former sports minister Daryl Smith over a dispute with his former secretary resulting in a sexual harassment settlement.

“The public has grown tremendously. They saw through Gadsby-Dolly’s strategy. People are no longer thinking along tribal lines.”

He could not identify the MP who had made the handbag remark on Friday.

Padarath reckoned Speaker Bridgid Anisette-George could do more to bring to heel those MPs who make disparaging remarks under their breath.

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