The Independent Member of Parliament (MP) for Westmoreland Central, George Wright, made his maiden contribution to the State of the Constituency Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
While he was mostly cheered on by his former Government colleagues who enthusiastically applauded and thumped their desks as he spoke, there was mostly silence when Wright made a suggestion to have a road in the constituency named in honour of Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
“I would not be able to forgive myself if I did not use this medium to profoundly thank the honourable Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, and his ministry, for the rehabilitation of the Ferris to Mackfield Road,” said Wright to sustained applause.
He added that the rehabilitated road has improved the efficiency and ease of travelling to and from Montego Bay
Continuing, Wright said “It is only fitting that this piece of road should be named in honour of Andrew Michael Holness.” On that score, he was greeted with mere murmurs, resulting in him quickly moving on with the remainder of his speech.
Meanwhile, Wright, who in April this year was believed to have been the man who was caught on a video recording inflicting a vicious beating on a woman in Hanover, had some recommendations about how to fight crime using surveillance cameras and drone technology.
He told the House that Westmoreland Central has not escaped the grips of the “crime monster”. He pointed to an upsurge in serious crimes in the constituency, including robberies, shootings and murders, which he said occur on a weekly basis, with the police personnel overwhelmed due to a lack of resources.
To adequately police the constituency, Wright said there is need for more boots on the ground to have round-the-clock patrols in the crime hot spots. He also cited a need for more motor vehicles and something else.
“I urge the Minister of National Security to look at the possibility of using surveillance cameras within the constituency to help in the fight against criminality. The miscreants have their technology; they will spot the police personnel coming from afar and hide their contraband or remove themselves from the location before the arrival of the police,” said wright.
“This activity can be attacked by the use of drone technology and surveillance cameras. These surveillance cameras should be able to be monitored locally, and there should be real-time communication between the ground personnel and the operator of these surveillance cameras,” he added.
Wright won the Central Westmoreland seat on a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) ticket in the September 3, 2020 General Elections, but was dropped from the governing party’s parliamentary caucus in April of this year. This was shortly after the viral video emerged showing a man viciously beating a woman with both his fists and a stool. The woman, who later had to seek medical attention, has been identified as Wright’s common-law wife, Tannisha Singh.
Neither Singh nor Wright subsequently gave a formal statement to the police, forcing them to drop their probe of the matter, and Wright has neither admitted nor denied that he was the man in the low-quality video.
Nonetheless, there were numerous calls from civil society groups and the parliamentary Opposition for him to resign as a Member of Parliament. He subsequently resigned from the JLP, but remains in Parliament as an independent member.
In his opening remarks on Wednesday, Wright thanked the staff at both the Falmouth and Savanna-la-Mar hospitals, who he said took care of him and his “significant other, Tannisha Singh” during their recent bouts with the coronavirus (COVID-19).