New Democratic Party (NDP) Member of Parliament Dwight Fitz Bramble declared on Wednesday that Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves was misleading the House of Assembly when he claimed that he (Dr Gonsalves) had made him deputy at the foreign office in Washington.
Prime Minister Gonsalves, commenting on Bramble’s contribution to the debate on the 2021 budget estimates, chided him for criticizing the government for allocating two percent of the estimated $1.21 billion budget to foreign trade.
The Prime Minister went on to tell the House that Bramble, as a former diplomat, should “have a conscience” because after all it was he (Gonsalves) and his Unity Labour Party (ULP) government had appointed him to the foreign office and he “knew the new directions in foreign policy.”
Rising on a point of order, Bramble told the House: “The honourable Prime Minister is misleading the House. When I was appointed as the number two man in Washington, it was under the NDP’s administration. “
Prime Minister Gonsalves, with a wry smile as he rose again, said: “Well, I kept you there. I kept you there.”
“You didn’t keep me there. Not you,” Bramble said.
“I didn’t keep you there?” Dr Gonsalves asked, his expression changing. “Who kept you there?”
“I kept myself there” Bramble replied, adding that he served the people of this country well.
Dr Gonsalves then said “those posts are in the remit of the Prime Minister” and that Bramble should know that.
Bramble said his record of service spoke volume, to which Prime Minister Gonsalves told him he did not want to speak about his record.
Dr Gonsalves told Bramble he did not talk about his record during the recent elections campaign and he did not wish to be drawn into talking about it at this time.
Prime Minister Gonsalves, having failed to prove that he or his government had appointed Bramble to the office in Washington, did not apologize nor was he asked then to apologize for the statement.