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JLP women lash Hayles over PNP mayor

Sunday, March 23, 2014    

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THE Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) women parliamentarians have condemned what they described as State Minister for Water Ian Hayles's treatment of the People's National Party's mayor of Lucea, Hanover and his "personal attack" on her at a meeting in the constituency recently.

According to a statement issued yesterday on behalf of the JLP women by senior parliamentarian Olivia "Babsy" Grange, she, as one member, was appalled and embarrassed by Hayles's comments made against Mayor Shernet Haughton, and felt that his statements were "grossly inappropriate and indecent".

"I don't care about PNP internal politics and we certainly don't know what the situation is regarding the allegations made about Ms Haughton's tenure as Mayor, but Mr Hayles's comments crossed the line.

"We just recently celebrated International Women's Day and are debating a push for more women in the political arena. We need to send a signal that persons with Mr Hayles's mindset have no place in representation and even moreso in government."

Grange said that the prime minister should take swift action, Hayles's example should not be allowed to stand.

"The PNP is led by a woman, and women in politics need to stand up for each other and not allow such abuse to continue," Grange said.

"The prime minister and Leader of the PNP is obligated to take a stand for her representative, and to set a clear example of the standard of behaviour she expects from her ministers," she added.

The JLP women implored political representatives to exercise respect generally and not reduce their arguments to personal attacks.

"We are all together at the table as men and women who want to serve Jamaica. Women politicians should not be disrespected because of their gender.

"It is ironic that this is happening in March when the world is observing varying levels of support activity for women in the promotion of gender equity and improved involvement in political leadership. Even more striking is this incident taking place against the local theme of 'Inspiring Change,'" Grange said.

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