Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis said yesterday Nassau Village MP Halson Moultrie is “not fit” to be speaker of the House of Assembly.
Davis’ comments came a day after Moultrie ordered that a cellphone belonging to a reporter for The Nassau Guardian be seized and media content be deleted.
The opposition has been highly critical of the move.
“I’ve said on a number of occasions that he’s not fit for that role and that he may be better suited elsewhere,” Davis told The Nassau Guardian.
He added, “I’ve spoken to the prime minister about this but they seem to think they are stuck with him. Again, you would’ve noticed from yesterday the rule he referred [to] – rule 89 – …is [a] rule to govern the parliamentary broadcasters as to how they were to depict the Parliament and how not to. There are no rules governing the media as to how they ought to depict Parliament.
“Whereas I do think the speaker could impose conditions on what they could or could not do, but that’s a matter that should be done not during the course of a proceeding but it should be done before a proceeding and or before any session of Parliament so that all and sundry that represent the media could understand the rule that they play by.”
He described the move as “rather capricious”.
On Wednesday, Mangrove Cay and South Andros MP Picewell Forbes said on the floor of the House that he was “taken aback” by the speaker’s statement about the media.
“A reporter is in this place to report the stories as they are taking place in this place… The Office of the Prime Minister’s staff comes in here daily and uses their phone,” Forbes noted.
Moultrie then stopped Forbes and asked him to take his seat.
“I specifically said that the permission of the chair must be sought and gained before you are permitted to take footage and if you would stop for a moment and examine the rules, you would discover that even the Hansard, with respect to taking certain footage within the chamber, even the Hansard is restricted within the rules,” the speaker said.
Last year, the opposition sought a vote of no confidence in the speaker in the House.
However, it was unsuccessful.