Statements by the attorney-general and prime minister are being taken as threats against him, says MP for St. Peter

The Independent Member for St. Peter is treating as “threats” certain comments made by the prime minister and the attorney-general (AG) in Parliament last week.

During the May 18 sitting of the Lower House, AG Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin, MP for St. John’s City South, made disparaging remarks about MP Asot Michael, cumulating in the words, “You are going to regret it.”

At the time, he was responding to Michael’s contribution to the debate on the Criminal Prosecutions Services (Amendment) Bill.

At the same time, the MP for St. John’s City West, Prime Minister Gaston Browne, interjected the words “UK crime agency” as cross-talk – which the Speaker had said, earlier, would not be tolerated.

MP Michael is of the opinion that these words were intended as threats that criminal proceedings would be brought against him.

Michael complains that – while he was ejected from the House for responding – House Speaker Sir Gerald Watt did nothing to rein in either the AG or the prime minister, and even went as far as requesting that the sergeant-at-arms remove him when he complained about the Speaker’s bias.  

The United Progressive Party (UPP) has also come out condemning what transpired in the House last week, saying the environment of the sitting was marked by intimidation and threats against the St. Peter MP.

According to the UPP, the Speaker failed to give Michael the protection that should be accorded to minority Members.  However, it notes, it does not condone disrespect being meted out to the Chair.