Barbados Labour Party

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Barbados Labour Party
Leader Mia Mottley, M.P.
Founder Sir Grantley Adams
Founded 31 March 1938
Headquarters Grantley Adams House,
111 Roebuck Street,
Bridgetown, Barbados
Youth wing League of Young Socialists
Ideology Social democracy,
Democratic socialism,
Political position Centre-left
International affiliation None
Colours Red and Gold
Current seats
14 / 30

The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) is the main opposition party of Barbados. Led by Mia Amor Mottley, the BLP holds fourteen out of 30 seats in the House of Assembly as of February 2013. It was formerly a member (observer) of the Socialist International[1] and considered as “moderate left of centre”.


Originally called the Barbados Progressive League until 1944, the original party was founded on 31 March 1938 at the home of James Martineau. During the first meeting, Chrissie Brathwaite and Grantley Adams were elected as Chairman and Vice-Chairman. The party was the organization vehicle for the political movement brought on by the unrest of 1937 and which ultimately resulted in a better living conditions. The objectives of the founders included adult suffrage, free education, and better housing and health care. It first participated in general elections in 1940. In 1994 Owen Arthur became the Prime Minister as leader of the Barbados Labour Party.

In the 2003 elections the BLP won 23 out of the 30 seats. The number increased to 24 in 2006, when in an almost unprecedented development the leader of the opposition, after a bitter and tumultuous internal battle within his own party, resigned the post and joined the governing party.

Grantley Adams House, the party's current headquarters, Bridgetown

The Barbados Labour Party governed from 1994 to 2008, which was commonly called the "Owen Arthur Administration". Prime Minister Arthur was chosen from among leaders around the globe to deliver the William Wilberforce lecture on the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the Atlantic Slave Trade Act.

The party lost power in the 2008 general election, winning 10 seats against 20 for the Democratic Labour Party (DLP).[2] After the election, Arthur stepped down as BLP leader and was replaced by former Deputy Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who also became Opposition Leader.[3]

In the summer of 2008 Hamilton Lashley, MP for St. Michael South East, resigned from the party to become an Independent candidate in the House of Assembly. He was thereafter given a job by the DLP, the party he had belonged before crossing the floor to the BLP, as a consultant on poverty. This move by the member reduced to nine the number of seats the Barbados Labour Party had in the House.

2013 candidates[edit]


The women's branch of the Barbados Labour Party is called the Women's League. The youth branch is called the League of Young Socialists.

Social outreach[edit]

The BLP uses several forms of Internet mediums to reach out to new and existing supporters. This includes: Google Plus, Facebook, and Twitter feeds. Many live meetings of the party are streamed live via UStream or YouTube.


  1. ^ Member Parties of the Socialist International.
  2. ^ Thompson sworn in as Barbados PM Xinhua, 17 January 2008.
  3. ^ MIA takes over Archived January 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Nation News, 24 January 2008.
  • F. A. Hoyes. The Rise of West Indian Democracy: The Life and Times of Sir Grantley Adams. Advocate Press (1963).

External links[edit]