Warmington is now state minister in charge of works

Warmington is now state minister in charge of works

BY ALPHEA SAUNDERS Senior staff reporter saundersa@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

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SOUTH Western St Catherine Member of Parliament (MP) Everald Warmington, who is widely known for his run-ins with the media and numerous confrontations in Parliament, was yesterday sworn in as minister of state in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) at a ceremony held at King’s House.

The appointment confirms a Sunday Observer report on March 13 that Warmington, who surprisingly was initially not appointed to Prime Minister Andrew Holness’s executive, was tipped to be named a state minister in the OPM. The Observer report said Warmington, 64, would be in charge of the works portfolio, which was also confirmed yesterday.

In his address at the swearing-in ceremony Prime Minister Andrew Holness expressed confidence that Warmington will serve the country with distinction.

"In all my interactions with you, you are a hard and dedicated worker who means well for Jamaica," Holness was quoted by the Jamaica Information Service (JIS).

The prime minister reminded Warmington that "as a parliamentarian, you are a representative of the people, but as minister you have a higher duty of service and that means humility, respectfulness, honesty and integrity....it is a general theme that I expect of the Government that I lead. It goes for everyone who bears the title honourable minister".

Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, in his address, said that Warmington had been called to serve at a time when Jamaica is looking for transformational leadership.

"This awesome responsibility is being given to you and you are going to be a builder in this position...I would hope that you would draw from the broad spectrum of your experience because...you are not a neophyte in Parliament, having entered from way back in the 80s," he said.

Speaking to JIS News after the ceremony, Warmington pledged to work diligently to fulfil his responsibilities.

"I’ve been called upon and I have to step up to the task and do my best for the people of Jamaica...(I am) looking forward to doing a very good job to make the prime minister and Jamaica proud," he said.

Warmington is the fifth minister of state to be sworn into office by the new Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Government.

Apart from JIS — the Government’s public relations arm — members of the press, with whom Warmington has had a turbulent relationship, — were not advised about the swearing-in ceremony.

Information minister Ruel Reid, who informed journalists at yesterday’s post-Cabinet press briefing that the swearing-in ceremony had in fact been held earlier in the morning, did not outline the responsibilities of the new junior minister. However, it later emerged that he would be in charge of works.

Warmington, who had also served as a junior minister in the previous Bruce Golding-led JLP Government, has been severely criticised in the past for outburst in the Parliament as well as run-ins with journalists.

Warmington’s calling MP for South East St Ann Lisa Hanna a ‘Jezebel’ during a sitting of the House of Representatives before the February 25 general election was condemned by several Jamaicans, some of whom felt that he should at least be suspended from the House, although he had withdrawn the comment.

Prior to that the shocking display of the "middle finger" to journalists outside the JLP’s headquarters as reporters and photographers waited to hear the fate of then embattled leader Andrew Holness caused outrage. Shortly before that he told a CVM television journalist to "go to hell" during a live interview.

— Additional reporting by JIS News


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