Fri | Aug 18, 2017

PNP names Council of Spokespersons

Published:Saturday | March 19, 2016 | 3:00 AM
Robinson
Campbell
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President of the People's National Party (PNP) and Leader of the Opposition Portia Simpson Miller says that the party's opposition Council of Spokespersons comprises a mix of experience and youth.

Simpson Miller yesterday announced a 31-member Council of Spokespersons, including nine deputies.

"This is a spokespersons council in which I have sought to include the vast majority of our parliamentarians so as to adequately cover and give effective oversight to all subject areas, and importantly, to provide experience to our younger parliamentarians," she said in a statement.

Simpson Miller indicated that the PNP's Council of Spokespersons is not intended to shadow precisely the Andrew Holness-led Cabinet as structured, stressing that the council is not a shadow Cabinet.

MEMBERS OF THE TEAM

Simpson Miller leads the council with responsibility for defence, social transformation, community development, and gender affairs, with Colin Fagan as her deputy.

Other members of the team include Dr Peter Phillips, who will speak on matters related to finance and planning; Dr Morais Guy, who has responsibility for foreign affairs and foreign trade, Peter Bunting leads the national security portfolio; and Senator Mark Golding is the party's spokesman on justice and governance and is also leader of opposition business in the Senate.

Leader of opposition business in the House of Representatives is Phillip Paulwell, who is also the spokesman on energy and mining. The full list of spokespersons can be seen on The Gleaner's website.

Simpson Miller has sought to explain why key members of her Cabinet under the previous administration are missing from the line-up of spokespersons.

"Dr Omar Davies, Robert Pickersgill, and Derrick Kellier have opted not to be included in the spokespersons council, but they will provide guidance and mentorship to the council as a whole and will concentrate on political matters. Fitz Jackson has, for personal reasons, asked to be permitted to concentrate on his parliamentary duties and personal business," she said.

Simpson Miller said that she has mandated each spokesperson to establish a task force for his subject area. She said that each task force would support the spokespersons and encourage wide participation in that person's work, adding that each task force would be chaired by a person who is not a

parliamentarian.