The prime minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, has halted plans for a multi-million pound payout 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 Sunday the payout plan had 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 on Tuesday, 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 said he was concerned about the word ‘pause’, saying: “I hope I don’t see a renewal of this commercial relationship with Richard Drax.”

Read more…

For those who need a catch-up:

The Drax… estate: how the countryside was stolen from the public, using profits from slavery

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