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Mottley halts big pay to Brit for plantation

Regional 06 May, 2024 Follow News

Drax Hall has caused much controversy

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley has halted plans for a multi-million-dollar pay-out to the British Conservative MP Richard Drax for the purchase of 53 acres of the Drax Hall plantation, which he owns.

As revealed in the Observer last month, the pay-out plan angered those involved in the Caribbean reparations movement, who said Drax, the MP for South Dorset, should hand over all or part of the 617-acre plantation to the people of Barbados.

In a seven-minute broadcast to the nation released on YouTube last week, Mottley explained the government U-turn and said she had decided to pause the purchase to allow further discussion.

She added: “I understand the concern of many Barbadians who may feel they have been robbed of the opportunity of having an appropriate settlement for reparations that ought to be made as a result of the blood, sweat and tears of Barbadians over centuries. This is not a matter we take lightly.”

Trevor Prescod, the MP for St Michael East in Barbados and the lead for reparations on the island, believes his country “should not pay a cent for Drax Hall”. He welcomed Mottley’s announcement but he expressed concern over the word “pause”, saying: “I hope I don’t see a renewal of this commercial relationship with Richard Drax.

“I’ve been getting calls from around the world, and I would like to thank the Observer for bringing this to the attention of people in Barbados, the African diaspora and our friends in England who support reparations,” Prescod said.

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