JLP ignores detractors, says party is united
Gary Spaulding, Gleaner Writer
Even as Robert Montague, chairman of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), sought to dismiss suggestions that the organisation is again splintering in the aftermath of two resignations in as many weeks, indications are that he has equipped himself with a damage-control strategy.
"We know that there are forces out there to show that the party is splintered. There is nothing like that," Montague told The Gleaner.
His comment comes days after Fae Jacobs, the party's caretaker for Central Westmoreland, reportedly resigned her position. The party has also been hit by the resignation of Joan Gordon Webley, caretaker for East Rural St Andrew. Montague has insisted that both women remain caretakers of their respective constituencies.
"Ms Jacobs has not resigned, she is still the JLP caretaker for Central Westermoreland ... Mrs Webley penned a letter to me, as Chairman, I have not accepted her resignation," Montague told The Gleaner.
Jacobs, one of the founding directors of Caribbean Financial Services Limited, was selected by the party's central executive to replace Marlene Malahoo Forte to contest the seat on the party's behalf in the next general election.
Meanwhile, Montague said he will be meeting Gordon Webley to discuss her letter.
"I am scheduled to have a meeting with Mrs Webley who is off the island and is scheduled to be back tonight or tomorrow (today)," he said.
Working to regain power
Montague asserted that the JLP would not be distracted by the reports of a splintering. He told The Gleaner that the party's leadership had hunkered down and is carrying out organisational work to ensure the party is able to regain state power when elections are next held.
"There is a programme of work for the existing candidates that we have because we are getting ready for (annual) conference," said Montague.
According to Montague, the JLP has embarked on a training programme and is putting in place the new councillor/caretakers and are getting them into the "embedded" position.
"Despite what the detractors are saying, we have our eyes on the prize, we know what we are doing and we will not be distracted," asserted Montague.