Opposition Senator Anil Roberts. Photo: T&T Parliament
By Prior Beharry
OPPOSITION Senator Anil Roberts has been reported to the Committee of Privileges of Parliament for comments he made about Senate President Christine Kangaloo during his douglAR Politics programme on social media.
Leader of Governemnt Business in the Senate and Minister of Energy and Energy Industries Franklin Khan raised the matter during the Senate sitting on Tuesday.
Roberts made the comments on his popular programme, streamed live on Facebook and other social platforms, after he was asked to leave the Senate Chamber by Kangaloo on February 23.
Khan said Roberts was being reported for statements made on the programme on February 23 and 26.
He said, “Madam President, during the broadcast, Senator Roberts utilised satirical subtext to allege that in the discharge of her duties as presiding officer of this Senate, the President of the Senate is biased towards him, referring to himself as ‘booming voice’ and this Senate a ‘Kangaroo Court.’”
Khan added, “While this may appear to some to be harmless comedy, it is not. It is in fact a dangerous pattern of conduct on the part of the member that threatens this institution of democracy.
“Madam President, this esteemed Senate functions on the basis on well-established rules, procedures and precedent, and if anyone of us wishes there are respectable and dignified ways to challenge the rules of the Senate and the decision of the Chair of the House.
“In his disturbing and outrageous reflection on the Senate, Senator Roberts has therefore brought the Senate as a whole into public ridicule.”
He said Roberts’ utterances were also in direct contravention of a ruling by Kangaloo on December 10, 2020, when all members were cautioned.
Kangaloo also gave warning to Senators about their conduct during Tuesday’s sitting.