Warmington apologises for concerning political statements! Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Minister without Portfolio with responsibility for works and Member of Parliament (MP) for South West St Catherine, the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Everald Warmington, has taken what is believed to be an unprecedented step in his extensive political career.

In a release on Wednesday evening, Warmington, the usually feisty politician who has regularly and crudely lambasted opponents and even some of his colleagues, along with members of the media and the police force, apologised for statements that he made earlier this week at a political gathering in Old Harbour, St Catherine.

In a video that has been circulating on social media, he reportedly threatened to withhold state funds from PNP councillors in his capacities as MP and also the de facto works minister.

The statements were reportedly made after Lloyd Grant, the JLP incumbent for the Old Harbour South Division, was unseated by the PNP’s Kurt Waul in the Local Government Elections.

In response to the statements, the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) said it is alarmed by what it cited as Warmington’s “undemocratic plan” to “manipulate Government funding, bypassing the people’s will”.

The PNP added that, “This unacceptable behaviour contradicts the principles of fair governance and insults taxpayers,” and called for Prime Minister Andrew Holness to sack Warmington from the Cabinet.

It further cited the development as “a crucial test for the (prime minister’s) commitment to accountability,” and said “failure to remove Warmington (from the Cabinet) will be seen as a breach of trust.”

The PNP said while Warmington remains an MP until the next General Elections, they are demanding a full withdrawal of his reported threats.

“He must commit to not interfering in the democratic process. The PNP calls for oversight to prevent any actions against the people’s will,” the party said.

Below is the full statement from Warmington:

“As the Minister without Portfolio and Member of Parliament for South West St Catherine, I acknowledge the public’s concerns regarding my recent comments about resource allocation.

“I realise that my statements on funding for Members of Parliament and Councillors have been misunderstood in public discourse. It was never my intention to imply that a duly elected Councillor should be denied rightful funding for (a) municipal division.

“I want to clarify: my remarks were focused on the established practice that MPs direct funds for constituencies, while Councillors direct funds from the municipal Corporations. These are distinct and separate channels.

File photo of one of the many occasions when Everald Warmington has made highly controversial comments on political platforms across the country.

“Regarding the use of the term ‘my money’, I want to make it clear that I do not consider state funds allocated to constituencies as personal assets. These funds, allocated by the Central Government and directed in part by MPs, belong to the Jamaican taxpayers.

“My reference to ‘my money’ was intended to describe these allocations that I, in my role as MP, help (to) oversee.

“It should also be noted that as MP, I do spend my personal resources on constituency matters.

“To the extent that my comments, which were made in the heat of the moment and perhaps could have been more clearly stated, have been misinterpreted as endorsing victimisation, I unequivocally reject any such sentiment.

“I recognise that I am Member of Parliament for all my constituents, and as minister, represents the entire Jamaica.

“I appreciate this opportunity to clarify my position and remain committed to serving my constituents.

I therefore unequivocally withdraw the statement and apologise to the people of Jamaica.”