Tue | Oct 27, 2020

‘Troubling’... Jackson concerned about release of WhatsApp communication

Published:Thursday | September 17, 2020 | 3:20 PM
Fitz Jackson - File photo

Chairman of the People’s National Party (PNP) Fitz Jackson has described as unfortunate and regrettable the release of private communication between himself and Member of Parliament for St Andrew Southern Mark Golding.

Jackson says he was surprised to discover that a WhatsApp communication he received from Golding about 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday night was in the media for public discussion before 8:30 the next morning.

Golding wrote to Jackson to outline his discomfort with a move by opposition MPs to write to the Governor General to express support for PNP president Dr Peter Phillips being named opposition leader.

READ: Golding snub causes more PNP turmoil

Jackson, in a statement this afternoon, indicated that he and Golding spoke about the issues raised, exchanged further views and agreed to move on.  

He is urging party members and supporters to avoid actions and public utterances which do not serve to heal and uplift the party.

Full Statement

Having regard to extensive media coverage of a message sent to me by Cde. Mark Golding, I feel compelled, as Chairman of the People’s National Party, to issue this statement.

The presence of the text of a WhatsApp communication to me from Cde. Golding in the media yesterday morning September 16, 2020, was most unfortunate and regrettable.

It was quite surprising that the text of that message was delivered to my phone at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night was in media discussion before 8:30 a.m. the following morning before I got a chance to read it and respond. 

After reading the message, the contents of which were not entirely shared with me before, I responded and reminded Cde. Golding of certain discussions and meetings held last week, which if disclosed may have given a different impression from that given by his message to me. We have exchanged further views and agreed to move on.  

However, I must reiterate that I did not receive a formal letter, but a WhatsApp message and I assumed, particularly following prior exchanges with Cde. Golding on these matters, that this was a private communication.   

The almost immediate placement of the WhatsApp message in the media is therefore very troubling. This action is unhelpful to the party’s most urgent task of seeing through its current leadership transition and rebuilding mission following our recent defeat at the polls.

I urge all members of our party and others of goodwill, to avoid actions and public utterances which do not serve to heal and uplift the party, especially at this time when we all must act to protect one of our country’s most valuable public institutions.

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