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HomeNewsLocal NewsStapleton-Simmonds ends interview on The Narrative over what she called “combative questioning”

Stapleton-Simmonds ends interview on The Narrative over what she called “combative questioning”

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by Kevon Browne

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) – Following the decision by the Executive Committee of the Nevis Reformation Party to expel Hon. Cleone Stapleton-Simmonds, Elected Representative for Nevis 5 (St. Thomas), from the party, Stapleton-Simmonds did admit that she was desirous of the Opposition Leader seat over their Party Leader Dr Janice Daniel-Hodge.

“It was initially a proposal that I made from the onset. I did inquire from the leader whether she wanted me to continue taking into consideration that I was already in the parliament. I think at this stage, I was being re-elected. Because of the fact that I was the lone member in the parliament and as well as a person who was operating in a leadership role in the office of the opposition, I did propose to her whether she wanted me to continue or if she would like to be the leader, then I will certainly give her my support. Some may say that that was a sinister request, but I don’t think it was because if you have someone who is already in there and who’s already operating, then I do not think that it was sinister for me to ask for her support,” said Stapleton-Simmonds during an interview on the Narrative with Calistra Farrier on May 3.

“Of course, I was never the opposition leader. What I’m saying is that you will had someone there; I was there as the face of the opposition, so to speak, not necessarily the party but the opposition. So I do not think that it was also of order or sinister for me to ask that question. It was a simple question or a suggestion. And I indicated from the onset that if it is that, Dr Janice Daniel-Hodge would like to be the leader, then she would have my full support provided that I have a say as to who the Senator is, and even today, I do not see anything wrong with that approach. Because we are in a democracy, people can negotiate, people can bargain – if someone needs something from you and the support was needed from me, and I was fully aware of that, then we can have the discussion, and we can engage in the best interests of the party; in the best interest of the people who I represented.”

Stapleton-Simmonds held her conviction during the interview that her actions were democratic and not sinister. Farrier pressed Stapleton-Simmonds on the issue of the authenticity of her support of Daniel-Hodge as Oppositions leader, which is when the interview took a turn.

“But did you really want to cooperate with Dr Hodge and make her the opposition leader, or did you see an avenue where you could frustrate the process because – and I get the impression that there were difficulties going back with the party. You talked about being excluded from decisions, and so – you were about to lose the power you had as the only opposition member occupying the Leader of the Opposition’s office. Was that your one bargaining chip to exert some power in a situation where someone else now had the power?” – The Narrative Host Calistra Farrier.

The Nevis 5 Rep said that she had the negotiating power considering that Daniel-Hodge needed support for the Opposition Leader position.

“I do not think so because the power always [rested] with me, you know, I was not asking for any support from Dr Janice Daniel- Hodge. She wanted my support.”

A clip of the interview was making the rounds on social media of Farrier pressing Stapleton-Simmonds on the intentions of her move to negotiate for the authority to appoint a senator in exchange for her support of Daniel-Hodge as Opposition Leader. Stapleton-Simmonds asked for the interview to be stopped saying she was uncomfortable and that the line of questioning was combative.

Wow! Cleon demand her interview be stopped saying it was combative during broadcast of her interview with well known regional news outlet Caribupdate!

Posted by Everton Powell on Thursday, May 4, 2023

The political future of the now independent Elected Representative for Nevis 5 (St. Thomas), Hon. Cleone Stapleton-Simmonds, is left to be seen.

See the full interview here: 

 

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