Opposition Leader Marlon Penn has accused government legislators of adopting a bullying stance towards lawmakers on the other side of the political aisle.
“This culture of intimidation and bullying that seems to have crept up in this House is something that is extremely unbecoming,” Penn expressed during a recent House of Assembly (HOA) sitting.
In particular, Penn singled out Deputy Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley as the government’s chief antagonist for remarks he made about the contribution of another legislator.
“My good cousin from the Seventh [District] seems like he has a role to play. It seems like he’s the attack ‘dog-in-chief’ of this government,“ Penn stated in reference to Dr Wheatley.
The Opposition Leader argued that every member of the House has earned a privilege through the ballot box to speak in the HOA on behalf of their constituents and should not be bullied or intimidated when they speak.
Penn suggested that it was duplicitous for legislators to complain about the level of maturity in the House being eroded even as they contributed to the erosion in the House with what he described as condescending, manipulative, and derogatory comments.
According to the Opposition Leader, the bullying and intimidating comments that were being made had become a trend.
Penn further argued that residents are also sick and tired of the behaviour and this was illustrated in the fact that many have tuned out from the HOA’s proceedings online.
During his own contribution to a debate in the HOA, Dr Wheatley said remarks made by Second District Representative Melvin Turnbull were ‘incoherent’ and ‘incomprehensible rubbish’.
Premier Andrew Fahie
later said that he saw nothing wrong with the comments made by Dr Wheatley.