IT’S THE END of the road for Government’s lead political adviser Hartley Henry.
With the death of Prime Minister David Thompson early last Saturday, Henry yesterday declared: “The kingmaker dies with the king”.
“My tenure ends with David Thompson, so I am not going to work with anyone else,” he said last night in an exclusive DAILY NATION interview.
Henry, who represented the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in the 1999 general election in the St George South constituency, losing to the Barbados Labour Party’s Louis (now Sir Louis) Tull by more than 1 000 votes, also dismissed rumours that he has been actively campaigning to be Thompson’s replacement in the constituency of St John.
But Henry, who was credited by Thompson for his role in the party’s 2008 victory at the polls, said it was “unlikely” at this stage that he would be in charge of the DLP’s future election strategy.
“I don’t see myself being in the forefront as the chief strategist,” he said.
“As a party member, I am willing to give advice and I will assist in a professional capacity if required but the reality is that I have been shifting away from the cut and thrust of campaigning in Barbados.”
Asked specifically whether he jumped or was pushed, Henry insisted that his decision to quit as principal political advisor had nothing to do with new Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s assumption of the reins of Government.
And he would not be drawn in to any discussion about whether he felt the parliamentary group of elected DLP members had made the right move in choosing Stuart as Thompson’s successor.
“It is not for me to say that. The fact is that it has been a stable, peaceful and unanimous transfer, which is what Thompson would have hoped for, and really, it is the greatest tribute that could be paid to him,” Henry said.
“Freundel is a competent and able leader. He is familiar with the philosophy of Thompson, and the road map left by Thompson is very clear.”
As political advisor, Henry was guaranteed an annual salary of $155 000 per year, taking into account entertainment and travel allowances in the amount $10 000 each.
But he told the DAILY NATION he was anxious to get back to his regional political consultancies.
“The truth is that the nature of work I do is a very personal thing. I had indicated even before David’s passing that I would not be available beyond this PM, so once he passed,
I am no longer inclined to be in the forefront of Government activity,” he said.