Representative for Central Kingstown St Clair Leacock says during the lunch break on Friday, following a contentious back and forth over a bill on electoral reform which the opposition brought and was never debated, he noticed and confirmed the presence of extra security forces outside of parliament.
He questioned the speaker as to why they were there and said this appears to be a tactic used to intimidate Opposition members.
” It was my observation and was confirm that extra policemen from the special services unit were sent to the compound of the Parliament. I want to state emphatically Mr. Speaker that the there is no conduct in the Parliament this morning that warranted extra Policemen”.
“I don’t think it was your call, this is your parliament, this is your house, Mr. Speaker,” Leacock said.
He told the speaker it is his judgment to determine when he thinks matters are of a kind that requires additional policemen to be on duty on the component of Parliament.
Leacock noted that he simply wants to be on record that when he comes into the house as a parliamentarian,
The Opposition members know precisely how to conduct themselves and what constitutes behavior of a kind that would warrant such interventions.
” Nothing that happened this morning convince me of that action, and I just want us to be conscious of it Mr. Speaker, that we don’t ever have a repetition in this honorable house as we had some years ago for which at least one of my colleagues up to the day is suffering permanent physical damage and harm.
Leacock told the speaker that such tactic is intimidatory and so unnecessary and ask the speaker to look into such matters.
Speaker Thomas in his reply said he did not summon any police officers, and he was not aware of any additional police officers being on the compound.
Also in response to Leacock statement, Prime Minister Gonsalves noted that he did not see any extra police outside of parliament on Friday, during the lunch break.
“All I can say is that what the Honorable member for Central Kingston saw I didn’t see”.
Gonsalves said if they were there it obvious he would have seen them.
” I am not going to second guess the Commissioner of Police in respect to the deployment of police officers for the safety and security of members of this honorable house”.
According to Gonsalves, there were 5 police officers inside of the chambers on Friday, one or two outside which would be normal.
Gonsalves said that he said is quite appreciative of their role.