Categorized | National News

MP Gets Slapped

Parliamentarians and onlookers were left in shock yesterday afternoon after Free National Movement (FNM) Deputy Leader Loretta Butler-Turner slapped Fort Charlotte MP Dr. Andre Rollins across the face after they had a heated exchange in the House of Assembly.

The incident occurred in the House’s gallery just as members of parliament were heading to lunch.

After the exchange the members went their separate ways.

Mrs. Butler-Turner, who is also the Member of Parliament for Long Island and Dr. Rollins are known to be verbally abusive to one another.

Mrs. Butler-Turner said Dr. Rollins assaulted her and insisted that she acted in self-defence.

“As I was leaving the chambers today because of the corrections I was making to the Member of Parliament for MICAL during his intervention and the point of orders that were then made because of it, I think you would find that because they are on the governing side, they always think that they can outshout the minority. And there were many things being shouted by the side opposite as I stood. And it continued as we were leaving because it became a personal attack from the member for Fort Charlotte where he started hurling insults at me personally,” she said.

“In reaching the bar, he said some very despicable things to me and I walked away. And I must agree that I also repeated some things to him. But as we got to the top of stairs, he put his arm around me pretending to be embracing me but saying some very horrific things in my ear and when he did not remove his arm while saying those things I slapped him.”

Mrs. Butler-Turner would not say what Dr. Rollins said.

“I just think that one of the things that he needs to understand and I guess what we all need to understand is that at the end of the day we are setting the example and I think that even last evening when I had the interaction with the prime minister many of you who sit in the chamber can hear what he is saying. I don’t know what it is that I would have done to that particular member [Dr. Rollins] but he is always trying to provoke me,” she said.

“I usually ignore him. If he had not had his arms around me the way he did, I asked him to remove them, I probably would not have been provoked to that but he chose not to remove his arms. And quite certainly, we do not have that type of relationship where he should be embracing me. That is totally offensive to me in many ways. He attempted to portray that he was telling me to take it easy, which is quite the opposite of what he was doing. He is a liar. ”

She added that she has known Dr. Rollins long before they were both members of Parliament and had a cordial relationship with him up until the time he was elected to the House of Assembly.

“I never knew that when one becomes the holder of such office that their whole attitude could change. I was actually a patient of Dr. Kendal Major where Dr. Rollins practices. I’ve always had a cordial relationship until he’s come to this place,” Mrs. Butler-Turner said.

“I can say that he almost seems schizophrenic to me.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Rollins responded saying that he did not say anything to provoke Mrs. Butler-Turner, but that she simply lost her cool.

He said in his point of view he was responding to Mrs. Butler-Turner after she verbally attacked Social Services Minister Melanie Griffin.

“What I did is I said, ‘You can’t do that. It is in very, very poor taste.’ She responded with some things that I am not going to get into and as we walked out because she continued to hurl insults and anybody in the gallery who is present can acknowledge, I did no such thing as saying despicable things about her. If I allow to let what she said stand on its own, people will say that I made some comments about her as people have been speculating – they are wondering if I made any comments about her size or things of that nature. I made no insulting remarks to the member for Long Island,” Dr. Rollins said.

“What I did say is that she needs help. I said that in my view she needs to seek the help of a psychiatrist. The rationale that I have for saying it is that I am constantly hearing the malicious things that she says about persons to draw us into some negative light and I said, ‘Quite frankly you need to see a mental health professional.”

Dr. Rollins admitted that he put his arm around Mrs. Butler-Turner, but only to encourage her.

“I was just letting her know that I meant that not in a way to demean her, but to encourage her. She responded very forcefully by slapping me but at all times I maintained my composure. I can’t say that I’m surprised. I have come to understand the member for Long Island and her make up,” he said.

“Perhaps she feels that in this male dominated arena, she has to compensate for what society perceives as her weakness. I don’t think she has to do as much as she does. I think it’s overcompensation on her part.”

Dr. Rollins said he does not intend to press charges against Mrs. Butler-Turner.

“I just want young men to know that if there’s one good thing that can come out of this is that if a woman does put her hands on you I don’t think you should respond,” he said.

Prime Minister Perry Christie told reporters that he was disappointed in the whole ordeal.

“I was just talking to the Baptist Convention where the leader of the Opposition had written me indicating the importance of having a united front and that I was mindful of the fact that we should now be focused on what unites and not divides us and precipitous behaviour and violent behaviour whether by government or by Opposition. This is really uncalled for in today’s Bahamas. It sets the wrong example and we have to be called account for it,” he said.

“There’s no place for it in Parliament. There is no place for it in the country. That ought to be a view and a commitment that each of us and all of us should make to the country.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook