Wed | Oct 18, 2017

Bunting on a frolic of his own - PNP was not aware spokesman would go public with criticisms of Chinese

Published:Tuesday | August 15, 2017 | 12:00 AMRomario Scott
Peter Bunting

The People's National Party (PNP) has distanced itself from its spokesman on national security, Peter Bunting, for publicly lashing out against the Chinese dominance in the construction sector, suggesting that its former general secretary was premature in his stinging criticisms of the foreign nationals.

General secretary of the PNP, Julian Robinson, while acknowledging that the issue of the Chinese dominance in certain sectors was being discussed internally in the party, said that the PNP had not come to a final determination as to how the matter would be treated.

Robinson said the party was not aware that Bunting was going to go public with the issue.

"We believe that where those issues arise, the best way to approach them would be to call the Government or the specific companies and seek to resolve them at that level in the first instance and determine whether a solution can be had before there is a public discourse," Robinson said.

The general secretary disclosed that several high-ranking members of the PNP had a meeting with the Chinese ambassador yesterday, but Bunting was not invited.

Meanwhile, Opposition Spokesman on Foreign Affairs Dr Morais Guy, who also spoke with The Gleaner yesterday, said that he was taken aback by Bunting's utterances.

"The fact is that the matter is something that Mr Bunting has clearly investigated and there are some issues and concerns ... but they are allegations - he has nothing to substantiate [them]," Guy said of Bunting's comments a week ago.

"Also, although Mr Bunting has the right to do whatever he wants to do as an individual and an MP, he is part of the leadership of the PNP, a former Cabinet member and a member of the council of spokespersons, and we would have expected some collective responsibility ... ," the PNP foreign affairs spokesperson added.

The PNP general secretary said that the party would be moving to establish proper protocols for its spokespersons speaking publicly on national issues.

romario.scott@gleanerjm.com