“I WAS threatened by hooligans from LifeSport today! If you all think that is a joke, go right ahead and think it is a joke, go ahead. You want me to leave, I’ll leave, no problem. When a man pointing a gun at me, we will see what you all have to say!”
This was the shout of Member of Parliament for Diego Martin North/East Colm Imbert as he stormed out of the Lower House yesterday, moments after being ordered out of the Parliament by House Speaker Wade Mark.
Imbert’s marching orders came following a tiff with Sport Minister Anil Roberts, who he (Imbert) said was trivialising threats hurled at him.
Roberts was, at the time, defending the much-maligned LifeSport programme.
This was how the incident unfolded around 3.19 p.m.:
Roberts: The audit is on the way. The truth is coming. The audit will determine on key issues of fact. Media reports say that there are between 1,000 and 1,400 ghosts (at the LifeSport programme). North/East say it higher than that. Okay, the audit will tell us if North/ East is correct, if the media is correct or whether those people who were frightening him downstairs...Ghost frighten him downstairs. Imagine North/East in his car driving along with 50 other cars but he alone felt threatened by young fellas downstairs who are just saying “we are not ghosts”, but the ghosts downstairs frightened Diego Martin North East.
Imbert jumped to his feet.
Imbert: Mr Speaker, I spoke about a truck with a loud speaker who pull up next to me near a traffic light.
Mark also stood up.
Mark: Please, please...
Imbert: This is a serious thing, you want me to write a letter to the Prime Minister, I will write it.
Mark: You cannot speak while I’m speaking, man.
Imbert: My life is being threatened and I cannot talk...
Mark: No, when I am on my legs, you cannot speak.
Imbert: So a man pointing a gun at me and I cannot speak.
Mark: Anyway you leave this chamber and come back around 5 o’clock. Leave now, please.
Imbert: Allyuh does take these things as a joke.
Mark: You leave now, please.
Imbert: I was threatened today. You obviously do not care about me. I was threatened today. You are in charge of this Parliament and you obviously do not care. All right, I will leave, no problem. Everything is a damn joke inside here...
Imbert: I was threatened by hooligans from LifeSport today! If you all think that is a joke, go right ahead and think it is a joke, go ahead. You want me to leave, I’ll leave, no problem. When a man pointing a gun at me, we will see what you all have to say!
Imbert then stormed out of the Parliament Chamber.
Roberts then resumed his contribution, saying said the entire situation was a “serious issue” and Imbert was making it a joke.
He said he saw Imbert smiling as he left the Lower House.
Roberts also slammed Imbert for using “foul language” in the Parliament when he uttered the word “damn”.