Independent Again: Controversy arises as PNP Grange Hill councillor opts for independence
WESTMORELAND, Jamaica — Controversy has erupted within the People’s National Party (PNP) as Councillor Lawton McKenzie, representing the Grange Hill Division, was not selected as the party’s candidate during their recent candidate announcement on Sunday night.
Observer Online has learned that McKenzie, who played a pivotal role in saving the mayor from being ousted in September, has decided to run as an independent candidate once again.
In an interview on Monday, McKenzie stated his intention to declare himself as an independent candidate on Tuesday, expressing confidence in his ability to win the seat without party affiliation.
“I am telling you that by tomorrow, I will declare myself as an independent candidate for the people of Grange Hill. I am willing to win the seat for the people,” he said.
McKenzie went on to express his disappointment, noting that after years of service, he received nothing but “empty promises” from party officials.
“Promises were made to me, and I will address that at a later date. They should be ashamed of what they said to me even before Christmas. They said that I am the candidate and that I must continue to work,” McKenzie told the Observer Online.
In July 2023, McKenzie formed an alliance with Councillors Ian Myles from the Little London Division and Garfield James from the Sheffield Division, declaring independence. Later, Myles and James switched allegiance to the Jamaica Labour Party.
McKenzie later made his return to the People’s National Party, in September.