The increasing deterioration in the relationship between former Grenada Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and St Andrew North-west Member of Parliament Delma Thomas could be related to her criticisms of the New National Party (NNP) political leader for costing the party the government in the June 23, 2022 general election.
A party insider told THE NEW TODAY that the stand-off between the two Opposition members in Parliament is not linked to Thomas’ relationship with her rival in the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) Gloria Thomas whom she defeated in the elections but more so about her criticisms of the ageing 76-year old NNP boss.
He said the former Minister of Social Development was very critical of Dr. Mitchell in a forum with two other government ministers and that one of them brought back the criticisms to the former Prime Minister who did not take kindly to her ‘verbal attack’ on him.
He stated that after the defeat at the poll, the NNP held a post-mortem of the result and MP Thomas did not mince words.
“Delma told him (Keith Mitchell) that her ground soldiers and ground troops told her that people are saying it is he (Dr. Mitchell) that caused us to lose the election,” he quoted her as saying.
He spoke of a follow up meeting in which MP Thomas and two other candidates were engaged in a conversation which focused on Dr. Mitchell’s negative attitude and one of them allegedly went back and briefed him on the remarks made by MP Thomas.
According to the NNP insider, the ex-Prime Minister was angry and used some very harsh words to describe his former female government minister from the rural St Andrew constituency.
He labelled the NNP opposition MP in Parliament who brought back the information from the discussion among the three former government ministers as “the chief news bringer” for the defeated Prime Minister.
MP Thomas has made public her decision to visit several areas of the constituency at the invitation of her rival in Congress.
The move has not gone down well with her political boss Dr. Keith Mitchell who complained that he was not consulted on the issue.
The stand-off between Dr. Mitchell and his MP is known to have started within days of the NNP defeat at the polls as there were leaks that Thomas and another of the six winning candidates Kate Lewis (St Andrew North-east) were prepared to support former Agriculture Minister Peter David to take over as leader of the party.
The female NNP MP for St Andrew North-west is said to hold the view that the attack on her two weeks ago by Andre Donald, a radio station owner in the north of the island that is linked to NNP would not have been done without “the blessings” of the ex-Prime Minister.
Former Education Minister Laurina Waldron, a former NNP successful candidate in St George North-west is said to be leading the party’s work in the constituency.
The NNP General Secretary Roland Bhola denied that MP Delma Thomas has been expelled from the party but admitted that the hierarchy of the political organisation has been having difficulty in getting her to meet with the leadership to discuss a number of issues.
According to Bhola the work of the party in the constituency has to be done with or without the involvement of the current MP.
The NNP insider made mention of several attacks against MP Thomas in recent days including allegations that Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell has already worked out a ministry for her as he expects her to cross the floor to join the Congress side in Parliament.
He said that this is clearly aimed “at trying to tell people that Delma is more in the NDC Camp than NNP.”
In a posting on her Facebook page, MP Thomas said that she viewed the decision taken by the NNP to send in “a new Caretaker” in her constituency as an indication of “an unofficial expulsion” from the party.
The NNP insider pointed out that the party will find it extremely difficult to pose a threat to the Dickon Mitchell-led Congress administration with Dr. Keith Mitchell continuing to be in charge of the party and ignoring calls for a younger person to be put at the helm of the party.
Dr Mitchell who led the NNP to the 9-6 defeat at the polls said the loss of the Prime Ministership of the country “really hurts” .