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PNP won’t air dirty laundry, says Paulwell

Published:Wednesday | December 2, 2020 | 12:19 AM
Phillip Paulwell
Phillip Paulwell

The leadership of the People’s National Party (PNP) has presented a wall of silence amid fracture in the 82-year-old political movement after the leaking of a voice note featuring Vice-President Damion Crawford trashing Mark Golding, Lisa Hanna, and others in its upper echelons.

Several high-ranking members of the party have opted not to comment on the voice note, which went viral on the weekend.

Newly elected party Chairman Phillip Paulwell, speaking to The Gleaner before entering Gordon House for the regular sitting of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, declined to speak in detail on how Crawford’s outburst could worsen the rift.

Paulwell did, however, offer insight into how the party would treat Crawford’s tirade, which was reportedly recorded before the November 7 internal election in which Golding beat Hanna.

He said he had no comment on Crawford’s bashing of the PNP leadership and would not be drawn on whether the opposition senator should resign from the Upper House.

“These are internal matters, and as chairman of the party, that’s how I would prefer to handle these matters,” Paulwell, who is also a vice-president, said.

In the leaked conversation, Crawford boasted that he was far more popular among PNP supporters than Lisa Hanna, who he accused of being a photo-op junkie.

Crawford also said that Golding was only fit to serve as party president for about two years and suggested that he was no match for Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who leads the Jamaica Labour Party.

The dreadlocked senator suggested that he would launch a presidential bid in the next five years.

Crawford, whose re-election candidacy was rejected by party delegates into his maiden term as member of parliament in St Andrew East Rural, also lost the Portland Eastern by-election in 2019 to political neophyte Ann-Marie Vaz.