CMC: BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Prime Minister Mia Mottley today reshuffled her two-year-old cabinet to reflect what she termed the new reality facing Barbados in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the socio-economic development of the island.
In a 23-minute address to the nation, Mottley announced the removal of four ministers and a parliamentary secretary from her 26-member cabinet, replacing them with new faces and insisting that their removal should not be regarded as “dismissals”.
“This is not a case of dismissing anyone. I want to make it clear that I am committed to ensuring that each former member of the cabinet is utilised in this country in a manner or in the furtherance of the work of this government and of this nation,” she said.
“They are all capable individuals who have much to offer Barbados and I will be leaning on them with their permission in some form of fashion to assist in the execution of our mandate, to be effective as a government and to ensure that our resolve to remain the political party of choice in Barbados is carried through.”
Mottley said she had met with Governor General Dame Sandra Mason and as a result had removed George Payne, the Minister of Housing, Lands and Rural Development; Edmund Hinkson, the Minister of Home Affairs; Trevor Prescod, Minister of the Environment and National Beautification; Lucille Moe, the Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Public Affairs; and Neil Rowe, the parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of People’s Empowerment and Elder Affairs.
She said Dr William Duguid, the Minister of Transport, Works and Maintenance, will now be the Minister of Housing, Lands and Maintenance; while Kerrie Simmonds, who was the Minister of Tourism and International Transport, will now be responsible for energy, small business and entrepreneurship, with newcomer, Lisa Cummings, being the new Minister of Tourism and International Transport.
She said Ian Gooding Edgill will become the new Minister of Transport, Works and Water Resources, and Adrain Forde, the Minister of Youth and Community Empowerment, will now be in charge of the Ministry of the Environment and National Beautification. Wilfred Abrahams is being removed from the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs.
Mottley, whose Barbados Labour Party (BLP) had swept all the 30 seats in the May 2018 general election, said that Charles Griffith, minister in the Ministry of Housing, Lands and Rural Development will now move to be minister in the Ministry of Water Resources. Dwight Sutherland will become the Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, moving away from his earlier position of Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce.
In addition, Mottley said Peter Philips, minister in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance, will now move across to the same position in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, while John King, Minister of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports, will now serve as a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office with culture being part of that ministry.
She said Rommel Springer is the parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Education and Technical and Vocational Training.
Mottley said she wanted to congratulate the new additions to her cabinet and that she was “looking forward to the same ingenuity, tenacity and penchant for hard work and success with respect to all who are being re-appointed”.
She said that the cabinet reshuffle is the first in a series of measures to “reposition ourselves and to reposition as a result of the adjustments that I will be making to ready Barbados for the challenges of the new reality that confronts us as a nation”.