Wed | Nov 13, 2019

UPDATE: Robert Morgan withdraws 'inflammatory' tweet, PNP writes to Ombudsman

Published:Tuesday | October 8, 2019 | 7:30 PM
Robert Nesta Morgan ... has since deleted the controversial tweet.

Government Senator Robert Morgan has "unequivocally" withdrawn a controversial tweet he posted on Monday with which the Opposition has taken issue.

However, he has not said whether he will apologise.

The tweet, posted on Morgan’s Twitter account, said:  "If you sit with Lammy you will rise with fleas".

Opposition Senator Lambert Brown is popularly called 'Lammy'.

On Tuesday, People's National Party (PNP) general secretary Julian Robinson wrote to political ombudsman, Donna Parchment Brown, seeking her intervention following what he called the inflammatory post.

"We find these utterances highly unacceptable and unbecoming of a member of the Upper House and Parliamentary Secretary in the Government. These remarks are inflammatory, inexcusable and have the potential to give rise to undesirable political tension. What is worse is that subsequent to his first tweet, he posted two other tweets seeking to justify the first one," Robinson wrote in the letter to the Ombudsman.

Late Tuesday evening, Morgan issued a statement withdrawing the comment.

"Yesterday I made a tweet using a variation of a popular Jamaican proverb. It has come to my attention that a colleague Senator has construed the tweet in a manner that I did not intend. With that reality, I unequivocally withdraw the tweet and regret any negative supposition that may have ensued," Morgan said.

Asked whether he intended to say sorry, Morgan would only repeat: "I unequivocally withdraw the tweet and regret any negative supposition that may have ensued."

He has deleted the controversial post.

In the meantime, Robinson has asked for the Ombudsman's urgent intervention in safeguarding the tenets of political propriety, respect and peaceful political co-existence between members of the respective parties.

On Monday, PNP Youth Organisation President Krystal Tomlinson also criticised Morgan.

"How can you speak in such a base and utterly disgusting way as a member of the Upper House?" she questioned. "This is publicly indecent and derogatory. Do better! You dishonour the high office you hold. Mr Honourable Prime Minister Andrew Holness is this acceptable to you?”

Just under five months ago, Tomlinson also faced criticism over her tweet after she likened the Holness' handling of the country’s affairs to German Nazi leader Adolph Hitler.

Parchment Brown later charged that political actors need to be mindful of their utterances to avoid creating harm.

She also stressed that civil discourse on matters of public interest must not include name calling or harmful references.

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