PNP hierarchy to intervene in Central St James dispute
MONTEGO BAY, St James — The hierarchy of the ruling People's National Party (PNP) party is to address concerns by Comrades in Central St James, who are at odds with their parliamentary representative, Lloyd B Smith.
The supporters have accused Smith of being "mean", saying that he failed to pay the hotel fee for Saturday night's accommodation for over 20 of his delegates attending the party's annual conference in Kingston.
According to PNP Deputy General Secretary Julian Robinson, the party will seek to get information from the MP about the arrangements made for the accommodation and transportation of the delegates.
"It is certainly something we have to get to the bottom of. There are some concerns. I think it is a matter that we have to sit and discuss with him (Smith) internally. But his constituents have some concerns regarding conference and the arrangements and the lack thereof," Robinson told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
"As a party, we will be moving swiftly to have discussions with him to try and find out what created the problem over the weekend," Robinson added.
Meanwhile, Clayton Morgan, interim chairman of the PNP Executive Committee for the North West St James constituency, confirmed that it was himself and Mayor of Montego Bay Glendon Harris who eventually had to foot the hotel bill.
"There is some confusion as to who made the reservation and sent the delegates there. We are checking out all of that. One thing is sure is that the hotel bill was paid by myself and Mayor Harris," Morgan told the Observer.
Smith did not attend the PNP annual conference, which began last Friday and ended Sunday with a public session at the National Arena.
Supporters used the occasion blast the MP, saying that he refused to spend money and should "leave the constituency".
Up to late yesterday evening efforts to reach Smith proved futile. Calls to his cellular phone went answered.
Smith, known as the "Governor", won the Central St James seat by 98 votes over the Jamaica Labour Party's Heroy Clarke in the December 2011 general elections. He polled 5,683, while Clarke got 5,585.