JLP MPs show support for independent representative, George Wright Loop Jamaica

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Members of the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) continue to send mixed messages about whether the disgraced Member of Parliament (MP) for Westmoreland Central, George Wright, is gearing for a return to the party.

Eyebrows were raised in the House of Representatives on Wednesday when two Government MPs – Ann-Marie Vaz and Tovia Hamilton – crossed to the Opposition benches to sit in close proximity to Wright as he made his contribution to the State of the Constituency Debate as an independent MP. Sitting close to a parliamentary colleague as he/she makes a contribution to the constituency debate is traditionally a show of support.

Wright assumed independent status after he was dropped from the JLP’s parliamentary caucus in June last year and forced to sit on the Opposition benches. Of note is that there was no such support from Government MPs when Wright made his first contribution to the constituency debate last year.

Wright resigned from the JLP in June 2021 under a cloud of controversy just eight months after he was elected to the House of Representatives. He was believed to have been the man who was captured on a viral video delivering blows to a woman with both his fists and a stool.

Neither Wright nor the battered woman, Tannisha Singh, later identified as his common-law wife, cooperated with police investigators after the incident. That forced the investigators to close their probe into the matter.

This was although both Wright and Singh had verbally reported at two separate police stations that the other person was the aggressor in an altercation between them at the time.

Although he has never confirmed nor denied that he is the man on the low-quality video, Wright was quickly dropped from the JLP’s parliamentary caucus amid howling calls for him to resign from Parliament, where he has kept his seat.

In February of this year, Wright was reportedly asked to leave a JLP Area Council 4 annual general meeting at Godfrey Stewart High School in Westmoreland after he showed up unannounced.

He was escorted out of the private meeting just minutes after he arrived.

Deputy Leader of Area Council 4, JC Hutchinson, who commented on the incident at the time, told a journalist that: “I did not see him, actually, but I think they sent somebody to ask him to leave. So, I think he left. I am not sure. If I had seen him I would have told him to leave myself.”

Yet, just six months later in August, Hutchinson predicted that Wright would soon return to the party’s fold. He made the prediction while addressing a JLP divisional meeting in Myersville, St Elizabeth at Nain Basic School, where he boasted of the JLP’s clean sweep of the three Westmoreland seats in the General Elections of September 2020.

Said Hutchinson: “Tonight, we have two of them here with us (at the Myersville meeting). In Eastern Westmoreland, we have Danny Lawrence. In Western Westmoreland, we have Morland Wilson. And the third MP, the independent Labourite who everybody knows that he has taken a short leave from the labour party and he will soon be back; George Wright, the third person who won on the Labour party ticket”.

Days later, JLP General Secretary, Dr Horace Chang, brushed aside Hutchinson’s assertion.

“We don’t approach him; I don’t know where JC (Hutchinson) got this thing from. The man did not apply to join the party, we don’t engage him. It’s not a thought,” Chang told a newspa