Fri | Jan 19, 2018

Phillips to be sworn in as Opposition Leader tomorrow

Published:Sunday | April 2, 2017 | 12:11 AM

When Dr Peter Phillips enters Gordon House on Tuesday, he will take his seat in the Lower House as Opposition leader for the first time.

Phillips is scheduled to receive his instrument of office at King’s House tomorrow after being sworn in as leader of the Opposition by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen.

Leader of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives Phillip Paulwell told The Sunday Gleaner that he had sent a letter to King’s House, signed by members of parliament, including outgoing Opposition leader, Portia Simpson Miller, indicating that “we have agreed that Peter Phillips be named the leader of the Opposition effective Monday”.

In what is expected to be a brief function, members of Phillips’ family and his close allies are expected to be in attendance.


Last December, Simpson Miller announced that she would be stepping down as Opposition leader on April 2, 2017, and spent her last official day in that office last Friday.

The Jamaica Constitution stipulates that there shall be a leader of the Opposition who shall be appointed by the governor general by instrument under the Broad Seal.

According to the Constitution, whenever the governor general has occasion to appoint a leader of the Opposition, he shall, in his discretion, appoint the member of the House of Representatives who, in his judgement, is best able to command the support of the majority of those members who do not support the Government ....

Simpson Miller is expected to attend a farewell meeting with Sir Patrick at King’s House today.

Last Sunday, Simpson Miller said an emotional goodbye as president of the People’s National Party to thousands of supporters who gathered at the National Arena at a special delegates’ conference to welcome Phillips as the fifth president of the People’s National Party.