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Holness warns JLP MPs to clean up act

Published:Tuesday | October 21, 2014 | 10:00 AM

Andrew Holness, leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), has called for members of parliament on the Opposition benches to clean up their act and image, with recent polls showing the party outgunning the People's National Party (PNP) at the mid-term mark.

The Gleaner understands that Holness made the charge during a recent no-holds-barred meeting he convened with the parliamentarians on the way forward.

Holness repeatedly said that while he was not surprised by the poll results, some party members have done nothing to justify the position the JLP is in.

He signalled that all candidates are to be installed by January 2015, and a canvass done to guide the party on how to proceed.

The Gleaner-commissioned Bill Johnson poll, conducted in September, has found that the JLP is leading the PNP in all areas, with Holness being well ahead of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.

Insiders told The Gleaner that Holness soaked up biting criticisms in deafening silence before firing off salvos of his own.

He reportedly accepted some claims levelled against him, and sought to correct inaccuracies.

A source within the JLP said Holness had strong words for disgruntled members, charging that while the people may be ready for the JLP, he was "not sure that the JLP was ready for the people".

DANGEROUS LINE

Holness reportedly warned some MPs that they were on a dangerous line because of their failure to adequately service their constituencies.

With Holness overseas, The Gleaner sought a comment from JLP General Secretary Dr Horace Chang, who, however, declined to comment on the testy meeting.

Chang stressed that the session was private and confidential and details should not have been leaked to any section of the public, including the media.

The Gleaner understands that the criticisms levelled at Holness came primarily from some of the MPs who sided with Audley Shaw in the leadership challenge almost a year ago.

gary.spaulding@gleanerjm.com