Party chairmen speak out on House row
Guardian Staff Reporter
Published: Oct 25, 2013
A heated row in the House of Assembly between Prime Minister Perry Christie and Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner was uncalled for and reduced the level debate in the House, several politicians said yesterday.
Butler-Turner suggested that Prime Minister Perry Christie has a dislike for women after he said he will not be intimated by her “might or size”.
Christie shot back, saying, his family would be amused “at the question of my sexuality” suggested by Butler-Turner.
St. Anne’s MP Hubert Chipman said Christie’s comments were disgraceful.
“I felt embarrassed,” he said. “I was just sitting there and you ask yourself, ‘Is this what you got into politics for?’ We crossed a line there.”
Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Bradley Roberts felt that Butler-Turner was too emotional.
“She threatened to slap somebody again,” he said. “Christie certainly took a swipe at that. But she was like a bull in the china shop. She was way off base.
“Christie in a nice way said my colleague right here…is of a similar size too. He certainly took no umbrage with regard to that.”
Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Darron Cash said Christie was thin-skinned and defended Butler-Turner’s reaction.
“She is a good woman to be able to exercise the kind of constraint that she has,” Cash said.
“They have dropped the level of debate on the other side, but she has continued to comport herself in a most dignified manner. She has done better than most people can do.”
Cash noted though that MPs should remember that they are being looked up to.
“On the rare occasions that our members loose their cool, all of them are still under a strong obligation to remember that people are watching and people are looking to them for leadership,” he said. “So as much as a strong response may be necessary, sometimes you will have to control your tongue and not give them the benefit of a response that is really justified.”
Butler-Turner and MICAL MP V. Alfred Gray were arguing over amendments the Ingraham administration made to the Mayaguana deal between the government of The Bahamas and the I-Group.
The Ingraham administration had referred to the original deal entered into by the first Christie administration as the “great land give-away”.
“I am not ashamed of who I am,” Butler-Turner said. “When (my grandfather, the late former governor general) Milo Butler was leading the charge for the PLP, nobody had a problem with his size.
“But because I am on this side, you have a problem with it? Well you face it. This is my size, I am a woman and I am proud of who I am.
“As for my being offended by the prime minister, I don’t need an apology from him. He clearly demonstrates that he has a dislike for me, my size and maybe women.”
Christie fired back: “To those gladiators who sit along with her...they would know the tragic error of her ways in applying an imputation, the suggestion to me, they would know better. And they would know better because we have met in the forum of activities before.
“My wife knows, she knows what I was when she met me, a man of distinguished reputation in the field of valor.”