Speaker of the National Assembly Raphael Trotman on Thursday upbraided APNU Member of Parliament Vanessa Kissoon for making a personal remark directed at Minister of Works Robeson Benn.
Benn was at the time contributing to the debate on a motion on the government’s honouring its August 21, 2012 agreement with the Region 10 Regional Democratic Council on Linden. While Benn spoke, Kissoon heckled, “Like father, like son,” in an apparent reference to an ongoing police investigation involving the son of Minister Benn. After Kissoon made the statement, government whip Gail Teixeira immediately rose to object to it. “We wanted to immediately ask that [Kissoon’s statement] be retracted,” Teixeira said.
“Honourable members, the Minister is a member of this House and whatever may be happening out there, we all have children. Some of us have had children that have erred, that have been accused of things and I daresay will be accused in the future,” Trotman said.
“Under no circumstances will I countenance any references to anything because in past debates I have said let us leave our children and our families out of this and let us maintain that please. As I said we have had in the past allegations and in the future there will be allegations,” he said.
“We are honourable members of this House and I would ask that any statement made be withdrawn. It is not part of the record,” he said. However, Benn was adamant that the statement remain part of the record of the House. “Mr. Speaker I am not surprised by anything the member says. I do not want an apology…I want it to be part of the record and as events unfold, the determination will be made,” said Benn.
Kissoon then arose to offer an apology to the House for the statement made.