Warmington apologises for comments about withholding funds from duly elected PNP Councillor; JLP describes Warmington’s comments as reprehensible

Works Minister Everald Warmington has apologised for controversial comments he made about withholding funds from a duly elected councillor from the opposition’s side.

This after public condemnation and calls for him to be removed from the Cabinet.

A video that has gone viral on social media, shows Mr Warmington at a political gathering in his St Catherine South West Constituency, within which the Old Harbour South Division falls.

At the end of Monday’s Local Government Election, the People’s National Party Candidate, Dr Kurt Waul unseated JLP candidate, Lloyd Grant.

Mr Warmington was heard in the video expressing continued support for Grant, despite his loss of the seat, and also declaring that no funds will be given to new PNP councillor Dr. Waul.

In a statement last night, Mr Warmington acknowledged the public’s concerns regarding his comments about resource allocation.

He said his statements about funding for Members of Parliament and Councillors have been misunderstood in the public discourse.

The MP said it was never his intention to imply that a duly elected councillor should be denied rightful funding for their municipal division.

Mr Warmington clarified that his remarks were focused on the established practice that MP’s direct funds for constituencies, while councillors direct funds for municipal corporations.

These are distinct and separate channels.

The Minister further stated that regarding the use of the term ‘my money’, he is making it clear that he does 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 Jamaican taxpayers.

Mr Warmington said his reference to ‘my money’ was intended to describe allocations that he, in his role as MP helps to oversee.

He pointed out that as MP, he also spends personal resources on constituency matters.

Mr Warmington said to the extent that his comments, which were made in the heat of the moment, and perhaps could have been more clearly stated, have been misinterpreted as endorsing victimization and he unequivocally rejects any such sentiment.

He acknowledged that he serves as a Member of Parliament for all constituents and as a Minister for all Jamaica.

Mr Warmington said he remains committed to serving the constituents of South West St. Catherine.

He therefore unequivocally withdraws the statement and apologizes to the people of Jamaica.

Meantime, the Jamaica Labour Party has described as reprehensible, controversial comments made by Cabinet Minister and Member of Parliament, Everald Warmington.

In a statement last night, JLP General Secretary Dr Horace Chang said the party has taken note of the video in circulation with Warmington, making remarks regarding his Constituency and the allocation of resources.

Dr Chang said the JLP condemns these statements and distances itself from the suggestion of political victimization within constituencies.

He said at the core of the organization, members espouse the principles of equal rights and justice, and any suggestion that the democratically elected councillor will be victimized must be rebuffed.

The General Secretary said Warmington’s comments are reprehensible and do not represent the views of the Jamaica Labour Party or its leadership.


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