Ennis was lazy - Shaw

Published: Monday | March 16, 2009

Daraine Luton, Staff Reporter

Finance Minister Audley Shaw has condemned the People's National Party (PNP) for what he calls its neglect of the West Portland constituency while in power, tagging former parliamentary colleague Errol Ennis "a lazy MP".

Shaw, a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) deputy leader, was speaking with The Gleaner in West Portland last Friday.

"This constituency, despite having been represented by the PNP for the previous 18 years, was neglected so we had to spend," Shaw told The Gleaner while justifying the bumper spending by the Government in the constituency.

Ennis left representational politics in 2007 after serving West Portland as MP for four terms. Last week, he told The Gleaner that sub-par performance in his last term was partly to blame for the PNP's defeat.


Even before the claim was made by Shaw, the PNP had moved to pour cold water on any argument that Ennis was an underachiever.

Last week, the PNP released a list of achievements by the former MP, which it said was testimony that Ennis was industrious. The list includes the building of nearly 500 houses in the constituency, construction and resurfacing of numerous roads and bridges, establishment of several new schools and repairs to many existing ones as well as the building of sport facilities such as the $40-million mini stadium at Lynch Park.

West Portland has been a beehive of political activity since Prime Minister Bruce Golding announced a by-election in the constituency following the disqualification of Daryl Vaz by the court. Vaz will face the PNP's Kenneth Rowe on March 23.

The PNP has charged that the Government has concentrated loads of resources in West Portland to boost Vaz's chances of being re-elected. PNP estimates put the figure at more than $300 million.

However, the finance minister has rubbished the claims of political inducement. "Whether it is $300 million or $400 million, thank God for the Labour Party, " Shaw said.