Just after five o’clock yesterday evening UDP’s Area Representative, Shyne Barrow took to social media and made a post of no-confidence in the Party Leader and Leader of the Opposition, Patrick Faber. The post was not one of Barrow’s personal opinion; as a matter of fact, he stated that it was the sentiment of the majority of Opposition Members of the House. Three hours later, UDP Representative, Tracy Panton made a statement on her personal social media page in which she disassociated herself from Barrow’s comments regarding the lack of confidence in Faber. It was that very comment that made it clear that there is fracture within the UDP, and that Barrow was being thrown under the proverbial bus. The exchange didn’t end there, however, as Barrow made another post just after seven o’clock this morning, saying, quote, “We cannot unite around dishonesty and mistrust. We cannot rebuild on a foundation of lies and betrayal. We cannot heal a gaping wound unless we accept we are wounded and seek help.” End of quote. We caught up with Barrow this morning and spoke to him on what spurred him to make the initial post, and his thoughts on Panton’s retort.
Shyne Barrow, Area Representative, Mesopotamia: “What I said was based on my conversations with all the members of the House of Representatives that sit on the opposition side including Ms.Panton. Up to yesterday morning we were conversing and strategizing as to how to bring about the removal of the Leader of the Opposition and then I made my statement based on the conversations that I’ve had with all the members of the house and you know she disassociated herself but she did not say whether or not the leader enjoys here confidence so I think you know you need to maybe talk more with her. Everyone is allowed to have a change of heart but certainly one of the reasons for me putting out my statement was to end the duplicity and the undermining that was taking place where people would say one thing to certain colleagues and then say another thing to the Leader of the Opposition and I felt that it was important to be upfront with what we were doing. If people change their minds the courteous thing to do would be to notify others and say listen that course of action is not the course of action I choose to take but again up to yesterday morning she and I were strategizing on making sure that we had an emergency NPC in order to present the proposals as to what course of action we should take and I would leave it at that.”
Panton’s purported reneging from her position against Faber has since forced Shyne Barrow’s hand and other members of the UDP to release screenshots of texts and Whatsapp messages showing Panton’s role in the move of no-confidence against the Leader of the Opposition. In one copy of the text messages allegedly sent by Panton, she told UDP Representatives Hugo Patt and Tracy Panton that there has to be a plan as Faber will not step aside on his own volition. In that very text message Panton reportedly wrote, quote, “ He (Faber) has made it clear that he intends to fight to maintain his position as party leader. It is my understanding that he has already started the ground work with delegates. So how will this work exactly? What is the party prepared to do to go all the way? What happens beyond the sending a letter to the GG? There has to be a plan.” End of quote. In his statement made yesterday, Barrow indicated that there would be an emergency meeting of the UDP’s National Party Council where this issue will be ventilated.
Shyne Barrow, Area Representative, Mesopotamia: “We do have an emergency National Party Council which is the highest body of the UDP. You know this is a democracy, I reject any antidemocratic efforts to stymie the convening of an NPC – an emergency NPC. We are supposed to have one every three months, we haven’t had one since the government changed which was the last eight months so again one of the reasons we wanted to have the NPC and again it was Tracy Panton who was insisting that we have the NPC because while she agreed to me that the Leader of the Opposition needed to go she wanted to hear from the National Party Council which is the highest body of the party their feelings. So again if her position changed between Tuesday and Tuesday evening when I put out that post so be it but I know that I stand by and I have evidence of her position in a very active fashion to bring about the result of no confidence.”