Mia Mottley

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Mia Amor Mottley
QC MP
Mia mottley.jpg
Leader of the Opposition (Barbados)
In office
7 February 2008 – 18 October 2010
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Clifford Husbands
Deputy Dale Marshall
Preceded by David Thompson
Succeeded by Owen Arthur
Constituency Saint Michael North East
Personal details
Born (1965-10-01) 1 October 1965 (age 48)
Political party BLP
Profession Lawyer

Mia Amor Mottley, QC, MP (born 1 October 1965) is a Barbadian politician who has been Leader of the Opposition in Barbados since 2013. Mottley, who leads the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), was previously Leader of the Opposition from 2008 to 2010. She is a Member of Parliament for the Constituency Saint Michael-North East. From 1994 to 2008, she held a succession of ministerial portfolios.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Mottley has been much influenced by her family. She is the granddaughter of Ernest Deighton Mottley (1907–1973), a real estate broker and successful politician particularly at the parish level. He was the first Mayor of Bridgetown (1959) who had represented Bridgetown in the House of Assembly from 1946 and who belonged to the conservative party and helped the poor. He was granted the 'Ordinary Commanders of the Civil Division' for public services in Barbados in June 1962 and assisted Wynter Algermon Crawford (1910–1993), Barbados' Trade Minister, at the Independent Conference in London during June and July 1966.

Mottley's uncle, also named Ernest Deighton Mottley (1931–2008), a refuse disposal officer who lived in Great Britain for 18 years, he became the political leader of the short lived Christian Social Democratic party (CSD) created in March 1975.[1] Her father Elliott Deighton Mottley (26 Nov 1939-), was also a barrister who sat in the House of Assembly, albeit for a relatively short time before vacating the seat to become consul-general in New York. He was educated at Eagle Hall School, Harrison College (Barbados) and Middle Temple (London) once served as Bermuda's attorney-general and sits on Belize's Court of Appeal. He married Mia's mother Santa Amor Tappin in December 1964 just three years after being called to the Bar and was elected to represent Bridgetown (Barbados) in May 1969. It has been suggested Prime Minister of the time, Errol Barrow, used his parliamentary majority to abolishing local government altogether and therefore undermine Elliott Mottley's strength in the political arena.

Mia Mottley was educated at Merrivale Preparatory School (Barbados; closed summer 2010[2]), The United Nations International School (New York), and Queen's College (Barbados).

Mottley has grown to be among a handful of elected officials with that kind of family background in Barbados's parliamentary history and her colleagues at the Bar describe her as aggressive and knowledgeable about the law giving her gusto in the political arena.

By 1986, Mottley was finalizing her training as attorney and received a law degree from the London School of Economics (Houghton Street, London, England).

A political woman[edit]

Mottley first served Barbadian politics as early as 1991, when she had lost an election race in St. Michael North East between herself and the late Leroy Brathwaite (a defeated of less than 200 votes). Between 1991 and 1994 she was one of two Opposition Senators in the Upper House where she was Shadow Minister of Culture and Community Development. During that time, she also served on numerous Parliamentary Joint Select Committees on areas ranging from Praedial Larceny and Domestic Violence.

In September 1994, Mottley became one of the youngest Barbadians ever to be assigned a ministerial portfolio at age 29, she was appointed to the Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs and Culture. During her tenure she co-authored the White Paper on Education titled "Each Child Matters" that draws the link between better education and job fulfillment.

She was elected General Secretary of the Barbados Labour Party two years later. In that same year and again the following year (1997) she served as Chairman of the Caricom Standing Committee of Ministers of Education.

Mottley was appointed Attorney-General and Minister of Home Affairs in August 2001 and is the first female (in Barbados) to hold this position. She is also the youngest ever Queen's Council in Barbados. In addition to being a Member of the Privy Council of Barbados, she was Leader of the House and a member of the National Security Council and the Barbados Defence Board. She is also credited with being the visionary behind the Education Sector Enhancement Programme, popularly known as Edutech, which aims to increase the number of young people contributing to the island’s sustainable social and economic development. This revolutionary programme involves the widespread use of information and communication technologies to assist in improving the quality of the teaching/learning process.

In Youth Affairs, Mottley directed the establishment of the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme and a National Youth Development Programme.

Two years later Mottley was to serve as Barbados's second female Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Social Council of Barbados and the Deputy Chairman of Barbados' Economic Council. A position she held until 2008 and allowing her extended responsibilities including the chairmanship of a number of key Cabinet sub-committees, notably Telecommunications Reform and one oversight of the administrative and legislative initiatives to prepare Barbados for the advent of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy. 

Under Prime Minister Owen Arthur's administration of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) in February 2006, a government reshuffle ensured Mottley became Minister of Economic Affairs and Development, a post she also held until 2008, where her responsibilities put her in charge of key economic agencies.

Following the defeat in the election held on 15 January 2008 and Owen Arthur's laying down the mantle as party leader, Mia Mottley was chosen as BLP party leader on 19 January 2008. She is the first woman to lead the party, as well as the country's first female Opposition Leader.[3] Mottley was sworn in as Opposition Leader on 7 February 2008; since her inauguration as Leader of the Opposition she has promised the people of Barbados that the Barbados Labour Party will be a strong and unified Opposition who will fight for the rights of all citizens in the country.

On October 18, 2010, Mottley's appointment as Leader of the Opposition was revoked following a vote of no-confidence of five of her Parliamentary Colleagues. The five MPs placed their support behind former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, who assumed the leadership position that same day.

In the February 2013 general election, the BLP was narrowly defeated, obtaining 14 seats against 16 for the DLP. A few days after the election, on 26 February 2013, the BLP parliamentary group elected Mottley as Leader of the Opposition, replacing Arthur.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Caribbean monthly bulletin, Volumes 7-9, Institute of Caribbean Studies, University of Puerto Rico., (1973)
  2. ^ Merrivale (Shenstone, Pine Road, St. Michael), on its 51st anniversary, closed its doors for good at the end of the summer term 2010, and the property went up for sale because Mrs. Carrington is then 91. All the then current teachers at Merrivale would begin teaching at the new Westwood in the next school year (2011).
  3. ^ Trevor Yearwood, "Mia Takes Over", nationnews.com, (24 January 2008).
  4. ^ "Mottley replaces Arthur as opposition leader in Barbados", Caribbean360, 26 February 2013.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Shadow Minister of Culture and Community Development
1991–1994
Succeeded by
Cynthia Forde
Party political offices
Preceded by
Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs and Culture
1994–1996
Succeeded by
Ronald DaCosta Jones
Preceded by
General Secretary
1996-2001
Succeeded by
Joseph J. S. Atherley
Preceded by
Attorney General
2001-2003
Succeeded by
Dale Marshall
Preceded by
Minister of Home Affairs
2001-2003
Succeeded by
Dale Marshall
Preceded by
Deputy Prime Minister
2003-2008
Succeeded by
Freundel Jerome Stuart
Preceded by
Minister of Economic Affairs and Development
2006-2008
Succeeded by
Tyrone E. Barker
Preceded by
Owen Seymour Arthur
Party Leader
2008-2010
Succeeded by
Owen Seymour Arthur