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PNP avoids Peter Phillips WikiLeaks controversy

Published:Friday | July 8, 2011 | 8:58 AM

Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer

Political commentator Richard 'Dickie' Crawford said opposition spokesman on finance, Dr Peter Phillips, has an obligation to explain comments attributed to him in a 2008 United States diplomatic cable.

The comments contained in cables released by the whistle-blower organisation, WikiLeaks, has ignited a firestorm.

However, the People’s National Party(PNP) asserted it will not respond to them.

The July 8, 2008 cable charged that Dr Phillips agreed with US Embassy officials that Jamaica risked becoming like Haiti if Simpson-Miller, whom he labelled a disaster, returned to power.

According to the cable, Dr Phillips, who was recently returned to the Shadow Cabinet in a show of unity by the PNP, indicated that he would not want to be part of another Government led by Simpson-Miller, saying it would be too distasteful.

It also quoted Dr Phillips as telling US Embassy officials that it was an astonishing possibility that the PNP, after running the country into the ground for the last eighteen years, could possibly be returned to power.

Crawford said the comments have placed the PNP in a very interesting position that requires an adequate and convincing explanation.

However, PNP Deputy General Secretary, Julian Robinson said the country should not expect any comment from the party.

Robinson said while the content of the diplomatic cable may generate informal discussions within the party, there have been no formal talks among members.