Speaker to address surreptitious House photos

  • Speaker of the House Dennis Lister (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Speaker of the House Dennis Lister (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Controversy over images of MPs claimed to be sleeping on the job will be “dealt with” next week, the Speaker of the House of Assembly promised yesterday.

Dennis Lister, whose job is to enforce the rules of the House, said: “It’s an in-House matter that will be dealt with by the Speaker next Friday.”

He was speaking after the images — which appear to show ministers and MPs snoozing on the floor of the House, were published on social media.

Mr Lister said he would discuss the matter when MPs return to the House after the Cup Match holiday.

The use of recording equipment is forbidden under House of Assembly rules.

A video and photographs of some politicians, including members with eyes closed and slumped back against their seats, were shared through social networks last weekend.

Among those captured on camera were Jeanne Atherden, the Leader of the Opposition, and Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works.

It is not known who took the pictures or when, but the camera angles of some suggest they were taken on the floor of the House, while others appear to have been taken from the public gallery.

Images of Christopher Famous, Dennis Lister III and Kim Swan, also Progressive Labour Party backbenchers, were among the pictures shared.

Mr Swan has since insisted he was not asleep, but was looking down at his mobile phone.

Ms Atherden earlier said the “core focus” of the weekend should instead have been “geared towards the senseless violence occurring in our community” after the shooting of Taylor Grier last Friday night.

Owen Darrell, the chairman of the PLP, explained members would be reminded of “the proper decorum required inside the House of Assembly”.

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Published Aug 1, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Aug 1, 2018 at 8:04 am)

Speaker to address surreptitious House photos

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