Not enough

Political Ombudsman demands full apology from Mikael Phillips

Thursday, August 15, 2019

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POLITICAL Ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown has ordered Manchester North West Member of Parliament (MP) Mikael Phillips to issue a full apology and withdrawal, by tomorrow, of the statements he made at a meeting in his constituency on the weekend.

The MP issued an apology yesterday which, apparently, was not satisfactory for the political ombudsman.

In a letter to the MP yesterday, Parchment Brown noted the letters of complaints from Generation 2000 (G2K), and the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) constituency management team for North West Manchester and pointed out that the utterances are a breach of standards set out in the agreement and declaration on political conduct.

“Please be reminded of your signed commitment to be guided and to abide by the tenets of the code, while executing your functions as a public party official,” the political ombudsman cautioned. She also made it clear that Phillips' retraction and apology should not contain any “words of explanation or justification”.

Phillips, in his public apology yesterday, said: “... Describing the enthusiastic support for the PNP (People's National Party), I made remarks that North West Manchester will never go into the hands of the Jamaica Labour Party, as the PNP, under my watch will continue to work hard towards the further development of the constituency to ensure that the seat is retained. If this was interpreted as derogatory to my political opponents and generally offensive to others, I am expressing regret. I would like to apologise for any offence that my presentation may have caused.”

G2K and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica had described Phillips' comments as “disgusting”, “potentially dangerous,” and “extremely disappointing”.

The MP, last Saturday, told party supporters that, “No Labourite can come yah and gwaan like North West Manchester a dem yard because when we tek road all bwoy haffi run weh, and all gyal pickney haffi tek weh demself; we have one likkle tickie-tickie (JLP caretaker) a run up and dung inna North West, me a tell him seh a one man a yard deh yah and that is Mikael Asher Phillips”.

The political ombudsman said yesterday that, under the political code of conduct, confrontation should be avoided as party officials, including platform speakers, should not make statements which are inflammatory or likely to incite others to confrontation or violence; constitute slander of libel; or are malicious in reference to opposing candidates, their families or party officials.


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