Senator Charles calls off Whit Monday event
May 14, 2013

Senator Charles calls off Whit Monday event

The decision by Senator Elvis Charles to back down from staging an event at the Green Hill playing field on a date that coincided with one planned by parliamentary representative for the area St Clair Leacock should not be taken as a sign of weakness.{{more}}

But rather, Charles says, his decision to postpone the event, planned for Whit Monday, was to avoid any form of violence from taking place.

“It would never be a show of weakness, but to show that we have to be careful,” the Unity Labour Party (ULP) Senator told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday in a telephone interview.

“I hate to see violence and I hate to see people hurt,” he continued.

Charles contends that he was granted permission to stage an event on Monday, May 20, by the National Sports Council (NSC).

He said that he had submitted an application on February 20, 2013 and that Leacock, who is a member of the opposition New Democratic Party, submitted his in March.

“So, when he heard that I was having the function, he called me and asked me about it,” the ULP senator explained.

He said he told Leacock that he knew that he (Leacock) was accustomed to staging the said event on Independence Day, not Whit Monday, as was indicated.

Charles said that Leacock disagreed and he (Charles) decided to do some research in order to find out on what day Leacock’s event had been held in the past.

The senator said that he went ahead acquiring sponsorship and that advertisements had already begun to be broadcast.

Charles also said that among the things said to him on the telephone included that he (Leacock) would bring his supporters to the event and would disrupt it if he did not make a decision to move the event.

The senator said he wanted to show those who want to perpetrate violence that he did not want to cause any more pain to the people of Central Kingstown.

This decision, he said, was made over the weekend and according to Charles, he will be staging the event later this year, at the same venue.

But when contacted, Leacock denied making those sorts of comments.

“That doesn’t have the basis of truth,” he said.

“I call that political dirt,” Leacock continued.

He said that he has not been that sort of person, all his life.

“Why would I be that person now over an event?”

According to the area representative, he did the opposite and dissuaded any of his supporters from disrupting anything.

“If the truth be told, we applied for an alternative venue,” Leacock said.

While on the New Times Radio programme yesterday, Leacock said that the NDP had maintained good leadership throughout the impasse.

He further explained that he had been staging the event for the past seven years and when he applied to stage the event this year, he was shocked to learn that others had gone ahead of him, and that person was Senator Charles.

Leacock said that following a consultation with constituents last week, a decision was made to stage the event somewhere else in the constituency and that he sought a meeting with the police to discuss the possibility of staging his event at an alternative venue.

The area representative said that he was not able to meet with the police last week, but that he was contacted yesterday (Monday) morning to come in for a meeting.

Leacock said that during that meeting, he was told that Senator Charles had announced earlier that morning on radio that he was no longer staging his event.

And while he said he was already aware of this new development, Leacock said that he wanted to sit and discuss the issue with the police, as was planned.

He said that Commissioner Keith Miller confirmed with Senator Charles his decision to withdraw. Leacock said he had subsequently been given permission to stage the event at the alternative venue and that he was also granted permission by the NSC for the playing field.

The event, according to Leacock, was on the calendar of the NDP and is something that he has done for the past seven years. (DD)