Robert Morgan appointed senator and parliamentary secretary

BY BALFORD HENRY
Senior staff reporter
balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, May 10, 2019

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“I take this very seriously,” close confidant of Prime Minister Andrew Holness and newly appointed senator and parliamentary secretary, Robert Nesta Morgan, told the Jamaica Observer after being sworn in at King's House in St Andrew yesterday.

“The Senate is not a simple appointment. It is a significant thing for someone to have confidence that you can sit in the Upper House and contribute to the legislative development of the country,” he noted about his appointment as the 13th Government member of the current Senate.

Supported by his family, including his wife and three-year-old son, Morgan — a 37-year-old graduate of Clarendon College and the Garvey Maceo High School who is currently studying law after graduating with a first degree in history from The University of the West Undies — arrived at King's House minutes before the ceremony, admitting that he had only been informed hours before the announcement.

The swearing-in process was speedy. It started with an urgent invitation to the media to cover the event, shortly before 2:00 pm, and ended with the brief ceremony upstairs King's House with Governor General Sir Patrick Allen and Lady Allen in attendance, supported by Sir Patrick's adviser, former Education Minister Burchell Whiteman, and his secretary, Michelle Gordon Clarke.

Senator Morgan thanked the prime minister for “reposing his confidence” in him, and also commended his former staff in the Office of the Prime Minister's (OPM) Communications Department for their support since 2016 when he assumed the position with the change of Government.

He said that the prime minister, who heads the OPM, will eventually determine his specific assignments as parliamentary secretary in that ministry.

“I commit to function with integrity in trying to make the people of Wood Hall, Clarendon proud,” Senator Morgan added in reference to the community in which he was born.

Sir Patrick stated that, by accepting the prime minister's invitation, Senator Morgan had indicated his willingness to commit himself to serving Jamaica and the bicameral legislative process.

“Your contribution as parliamentary secretary will assist the prime minister in the realisation of the policy and programme objectives of the Government,” he said.

“I am hoping that as you join your peers there will be a collective will to maintain the high standards of the debates and operations of this august body,” the governor general added.

Senate President Tom Tavares-Finson, who also attended the ceremony, said that Morgan has already demonstrated a remarkable capacity in the field of communications.

“He is very bright and young, and I am sure that he will bring a lot to the Senate, overall, and to the Government team, in particular, and we look forward to him making a significant contribution. I expect him to be at the Senate early in the morning,” Tavares-Finson said.

Leader of Government Business in the Senate Senator Kamina Johnson Smith said that a caucus of Government senators will be held prior to this morning's sitting of the Upper House, at which time Morgan will be assigned his areas of focus.

Also paying him tribute was his partner at OPM, Press Secretary Naomi Francis, who said that she was very happy with the appointment.

She said that Morgan's success speaks not just to him as an individual, but certainly to the professionalism that he brought to the post of director of communications, and as a communicator in general.

“Certainly, he has helped to champion the cause of transforming government communications, and for that we are very proud that the prime minister has the vision to appoint Robert, and we know Robert will do very well,” she said.


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