Reid says he is still caretaker, JLP says not so

Monday, September 23, 2019

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THE Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) yesterday evening denied a claim by former Education Minister Ruel Reid that he is still the party's caretaker for St Ann North Western.

Reid said that he was still the caretaker for the constituency earlier yesterday, while speaking on Nationwide Radio's Cliff Hughes Online.

A statement released by the party hours after Reid's interview said: “The party is in possession of Mr Ruel Reid's formal written resignation from the Constituency of North West St Ann. Mr Reid tendered his resignation to the party via e-mail on Sunday, September 15, 2019 and then by way of a written letter.

“The party has accepted Mr Reid's resignation. Mr Reid is therefore not the chairman/caretaker for North West St Ann,” the governing Jamaica Labour Party said.

Prior to the statement, Reid told veteran journalist Cliff Hughes that, on paper, he was still the caretaker for St Ann North Western and he was in dialogue with the management of the JLP to resolve the matter.

“I have not officially tendered a letter of resignation. I have had discussions with the leadership over recent times, and we have an agreement as to the way forward, and I believe that the leadership will communicate that shortly,” Reid said.

He then went on to say that, while he is not actively involved in the constituency, he is still “making sure everything is in place”.

When Hughes raised the argument that JLP general secretary and Minister of National Security Horace Chang had confirmed that Reid had resigned as caretaker several weeks ago, the former education minister and senator explained that there was a conversation about the possibility of resigning and that all the necessary stakeholders have been having discussions on the issue.

Efforts to reach Chang yesterday for clarification on the timeline of Reid's resignation, both before and after the statement was released, proved futile.

Additionally, Reid, during the interview yesterday, indicated that he wanted to make clear what he says is erroneous information in the Sunday Observer story which was entitled 'Ruel Reid wants JC job back'.

“That article from the Observer yesterday (Sunday) needed some clarification.

“…Just for accuracy, the deed would expire on November 20 and not November 1, so all of that was inaccurate information. We have to have responsible media…” Reid said.

Hughes then asked: “Do you plan on returning to JC [Jamaica College] come November 1 at the expiration of your vacation leave that you are now on?”

The former education minister did not give a clear answer, instead he said that he wants the privacy of the matter to be respected.

Reid added that the matter is being discussed with the board at JC, and proposals are on the table, but he would not go into details.

“Just by what the law provides — we must all respect the process of law. I am permanently employed as principal of JC, and it would allow me to return if I so choose.

“I have worked very hard to rebuild JC from where it was when I took over in 2006. I love my children, I follow the progress at JC every day, and I am not going to do anything that is going to jeopardise the progress of an institution that I love very dearly,” he said.

Towards the end of the interview, Reid was asked if he thinks that he will be vindicated when the investigations concerning allegations against him conclude. He responded: “Absolutely, Absolutely, Absolutely.”

Reid was fired from the Cabinet by Prime Minister Andrew Holness in March at the height of allegations that he became embroiled in activities that could bring his office as education minister into disrepute.

His name has also been linked with irregular activities at Caribbean Maritime University, which fell under his ministerial portfolio.

Investigations are said to be continuing in both matters.

— Shanae Stewart


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