My wife is an independent, self-made woman, says Holness Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has declared that his wife Juliet is an independent woman who has achieved on her own.

He made the comment on Thursday at the start of his Budget presentation in the House of Representatives, where he led a walkout of Government Members of Parliament (MP) on Tuesday after Opposition Leader Mark Golding criticised the appointment of his spouse as House Speaker.

Mrs Holness is the two-term MP for St Andrew East Rural, and was appointed Speaker last September after the resignation of Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert following a report from the Integrity Commission (IC).

In his opening remarks, during which he welcomed his mother who was seated in the gallery, Holness said: “I want to thank my family for their love and support, particularly Juliet, an independent woman, a self-made woman who has achieved all that she has in her own right.”

Golding, during his contribution to the Budget Debate on Tuesday, rankled Government members when he declared that the appointment of Mrs Holness as House Speaker has presented some major issues, with him suggesting that she has proven to be lacking in independence, which is expected of the house speaker in handling the business of the House.

Golding said then: “The head of Parliament (Juliet Holness) is now the spouse of the head of Government. This really does not sit well with the tradition that the speaker must act independently of the Government of the day.

Juliet Holness

“The speaker is intended to be independent, and must act independent of the Government of the day.”

That is the tradition, he insisted to much objection and shouting from Government members, including the prime minister, who accused him of being “low and desperate”.

The walkout by the Government side truncated Golding’s Budget speech, as the House ended up lacking the required quorum of 16 members, plus the speaker, for the sitting to continue.

In a press conference following the walkout, Golding doubled down on his position, and it was not known whether Opposition MPs would have boycotted the prime minister’s Budget presentation until they turned up on Thursday.