Updated: Johnson Smith: I never intended to disrespect Senator Morris
The Leader of Government Business in the Senate Kamina Johnson Smith is insisting this evening that comments she made in the Upper House yesterday were never intended to disrespect Opposition Senator Floyd Morris.
She is also contending that her comments were misquoted in one media report about the debate on the National Identity Registration bill.
Johnson Smith was quoted by The Gleaner as stating that 23 proposed amendments to the bill were not complicated and that it would not be too much to ask Morris to read them, having recently completed his PhD and his autobiography.
However, Johnson Smith had in fact said she hesitated think "it would be too much to ask for us to go through (the amendments)".
Morris, who is visually impaired, took exception to the comments and left the chamber shortly after.
Johnson Smith, who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs, immediately apologised and withdrew the remarks.
In a statement released by Jamaica House today, she again apologised, but noted that her remarks were misquoted.
Johnson Smith says the report has served to shift the debate from the importance of the proposed legislation to a misrepresentation of her remarks as disrespecting Morris.