JLP Councillor Winston Ennis jumps ship at KSAMC Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Councillor-elect, Winston Ennis, of the Waterloo Division in North East St Andrew, has abruptly announced his exit from the governing party, saying he will be an independent representative after he returns from a trip overseas.

Ennis who served as Deputy Mayor of Kingston up to the February 26, 2024 Local Government Election, released an audio on a WhatsApp chat on Tuesday, with him saying he has had enough “disrespect” from the party, and “the cup is (now) full”.

Indications are that with the JLP set to play second fiddle in the leadership of the KSAMC after a 20-20 tie in the parochial polls there, and the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) having secured the majority vote, the PNP caucus would select the mayor, and the JLP the deputy mayor.

A reported initial plan for outgoing Mayor, Delroy Williams, to assume the role of Deputy Mayor is said to have fizzled when Williams declined the offer, and subsequently Ennis was reportedly not supported to remain as the Deputy Mayor.

“… I have walked away from the Jamaica Labour Party, I will be walking away from the KSAMC. I won’t be going down there to be sworn in,” said Ennis in the audio he released.

“I have to protect my dignity, I have to protect my values, and I have to protect my family.

“So the way I’ve been treated and disrespected, I am not having any more of it. 

“So officially I am an independent (representative on the corporation) until I return to Jamaica on the 3rd (of April).

“I am leaving here tomorrow morning and I will return on the 3rd n(of April).

“I am tired of the disrespect and I am going no further with it,” he said before apologising to members of the WhatsApp group for any disappointment his decision may cause them.

In concluding, Ennis said “life goes on”.

However, while he has made his position clear, at least for now, his decision, if maintained, would likely present a major challenge for the JLP in its fight to possibly overcome the tied seat count scenario within the KSAMC.

With Ennis as an independent councillor, as things stand, it would mean a 20-19-1 count in favour of the PNP, which would then be able to appoint both the mayor and deputy mayor of the City of Kingston.