Barbados: Royal Commonwealth Member elects its first PM since 1838

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Crown Dependencies are currently led by the Queen

The town of Barbados has elected its first leader since it became a self-governing British overseas territory.

The island’s Head of State and next Prime Minister Mia Mottley was officially sworn in at a ceremony in the capital Bridgetown.

Barbados, one of five Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) Members – the UK’s overseas territories – is the 28th member of the Commonwealth.

The Home Rule Act of 1838 returned the property to the Crown.

Having absorbed Labour, the now independent Barbados Party took office in February 2017.

The elections for president went to Ms Mottley, the fifth woman to lead the Caribbean island of Barbados, by a landslide.

Though the residents of the three other Crown Dependencies – Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Anguilla – are not directly involved in running the UK territory.

The president of the Commonwealth usually attends official Commonwealth gatherings and is also an ex officio member of the UK government, giving the Queen each year the right to appoint one member of the UK Cabinet.

Historically, Commonwealth prime ministers have each been first- or second-term premiers or MPs in the UK House of Commons, and have no power to change policy.

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