House speaker shuts down motion to suspend MP implicated in attack on womanTuesday, April 13, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Speaker of the House of Representatives Marisa Dalrymple Philibert just now shut down an attempt by the leader of Opposition business, Anthony Hylton, to move a motion for the suspension of Member of Parliament (MP) for Central Westmoreland, George Wright from the chamber.
The MP is alleged to have been caught on camera physically abusing a woman.
Phillibert said the motion was “appropriate but premature”. The Trelawny Southern MP stressed that she was strongly against domestic violence but having seen the video, the two people were unrecognisable, and furthermore, the MP had not been charged with any offence.
“I must be guided by the laws of this land and the Standing Orders. I would like us to understand that I cannot allow it at this time because the laws, and the standing orders do not permit it…I have to be careful because we are a court of evidence, until we have that evidence, I cannot allow it,” she insisted.
Dalrymple Phillibert stressed, “Anything that you're going to say without the police laying a charge, (or) a complainant making a statement it is going to colour the issue. The moment there is evidence I will rule accordingly. At this point I cannot with my legal knowledge allow it. I can't do it”.
The House speaker's caution and refusal to allow the motion comes hours after General Secretary of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Dr Horace Chang issued a statement advising that the part had told Wright to: “immediately make himself available to the police”, who named Wright on Monday as a person of interest in their investigation of a violent assault of a woman in the video which has gone viral. The police have also confirmed to the Jamaica Observer that it has an interest in the MP in relation to the incident
The JLP release said Dr Chang issued the directive to Wright on the instruction of party leader Prime Minister Andrew Holness, and that the general secretary had advised that if the allegations against Wright are proven, “the consequences will be swift”. He said there was there was no place in the party for any individual who abuses or attacks anyone, particularly women.
The video shows a man repeatedly punching a woman, then further attacking her with what appeared to be a stool.
The Opposition People's National Party has called on Wright to resign, stating that the scene in the video “flies in the face of the national outcry against violence against women that is now pervasive”.
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