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HomeNewsRegional NewsVerbal Altercation involving Anguilla's Hon. Quincia Gumbs Marie goes viral; religious leader...

Verbal Altercation involving Anguilla’s Hon. Quincia Gumbs Marie goes viral; religious leader calls for her resignation

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by Eulana Weekes

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Minister of Parliament in the Government of Anguilla, Hon. Mrs. Quincia Gumbs Marie, has come under heavy fire following a viral video, where she was heard and seen in a display of profanity and threatening language to another individual, Mr. Leon Lake.

Minister Gumbs- Marie, as shown in the video, was in the presence of Government colleagues, including Hon. Dee-Ann Kentish- Rodgers, Hon. Haydn Hughes, who appeared to be in disagreement with Mr Lake as well and Hon. Merrick Richardson, who attempted to calm the situation down by waking Mr Lake away.

In response to the video, Apostle Lucian Mc Donna, Leader of the Life Impact Center in West End, Anguilla, called for the resignation of Honourable Gumbs-Marie from the Parliament.

“I’ve served this nation for over 35 years. I’ve seen crimes rise in Anguilla weekly, monthly and yearly, and this is very, very concerning. Today, I rise to condemn with great concern the behaviour and outburst by the island-wide elected parliamentarian and member of the Government of Anguilla, Mrs. Gumbs-Marie. What I heard and saw circulated on a video clip is very, very disturbing, heartbreaking and unacceptable. We hold our leaders to the highest standard in the office by which they hold. What is most disturbing is, just today, violence and crime [were] discussed within the Anguilla House of Assembly, of which Mrs Gumbs-Marie was one of the presenters. While I try to understand the rationale behind this despicable and mental criminal outburst, it should not be acceptable by the Speaker of the House, the Governor, the Premier, nor by the people of Anguilla. This kind of gangster behaviour cannot be a part of the decision-making of this country. Whether the Minister felt that she was provoked, the choice of words depicts a highly criminal mind and showed no sense of being level-headed or controlled,” stated McDonna.

He added, “This [does] not mean or show to us that one has to drink or smoke or do drugs to have a criminal mind. This is why when someone gets killed in this country, we rise to condemn it after the fact. In my view, this needs to be condemned right away, and this is what I am doing. The thought to kill and bury someone without any care for those who were listening in a public place, Anguilla, is not acceptable. Furthermore, fellow Anguillians, what was more disturbing, was that there were three other members of the Government present and did nothing to calm or diffuse the situation in my view. If this is the mindset of our Government leaders, what can we tell our children and the youngsters to whom we are trying to guide away from such violent thoughts? Today, I call upon the premier, who is the leader of this Government, to publicly denounce this behaviour. I also believe that Miss Gumbs Marie should do the right thing and step down. The people of Anguilla should no longer accept you as a person who has no control and who is not capable of leading by example. In my view, your behaviour gives fuel to further violence and criminal acts in the land of Anguilla. This behaviour is very sad, very sad and should not be accepted by anyone who knows better.”

Minister Gumbs-Marie issued an official statement of regret to the nation on Wednesday morning, May 24, 2023.

“My fellow Anguillians at home and in the diaspora, my colleagues regionally and internationally, I humbly apologise for my poor choice of words and temporary lapse in composure displayed on Tuesday, 23 May 2023, when my fellow Ministers and I were attacked by Mr. Leon Lake while having lunch.

The language used by me was a reflection of the escalated tension of the moment and a direct response to the repeated threats being made on my life. In retrospect, I should have chosen to not match the tone of my attacker. I should have used more appropriate words after every attempt to diffuse the situation failed. You can rest assured that I am reflecting and will grow from this moment. Undoubtedly, while I am regretful of the entire occurrence, I am reminded that to err is human, and I am merely that, before every other title and the expectation that comes with it.”

Gumbs- Marie added, “The altercation with Mr Lake occurred after an emotionally charged sitting of the Anguilla House of Assembly where we made a commitment to focus on tangible and active measures by which we can curb the actions of violence and escalated conflicts now being experienced in different settings and groups. I still hold firm to this commitment and support it wholeheartedly. Yesterday’s occurrence was a dark reminder that the liberties and unique access to each other we enjoy in this small community are placed under threat when individuals are allowed to go unchecked and unaccountable for the threats and agitations that permeate our social spaces and airwaves. The anxiety and pressures placed on victims and bystanders, their family members and the wider community when incidences such as what took place yesterday become a great burden to all.

Let us all ensure that we show a bit more grace and temperance in the face of adversity and conflict. As the Royal Anguilla Police Force continues their investigations into the matter, I encourage all to let the emotions of the occurrence subside so we can arrive at a just and amicable resolve,” said Honourable Mrs Quincia Gumbs-Marie.

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