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Lambert Brown halts Senate presentation amid Tom's taunting

Published:Friday | December 4, 2015 | 12:00 AMDaraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
Lambert Brown ... had set the tone for the verbal clash with Tavares Finson after painting the opposition as obstructive.

An irate Government Senator Lambert Brown brought a premature end to his contribution to an anti-crime bill in the Upper House today amid taunting from Opposition Senator Tom Tavares Finson.

Brown and Tavares Finson were at odds toward the end of the sitting of the Senate and the tension peaked when Tavares Finson muttered to Brown "dem should a extradite yuh and Trevor Munroe".

Brown took offence and referred to Tavares Finson as "a little bwoy".

Floyd Morris, the President of the Senate, ordered that the comments be withdrawn and Brown complied .

The president, however, said he was disappointed that senators fail to conduct themselves properly.

"I have heard in this Senate from time to time, members talking about the need for bantering to take place across the aisle and every time a latitude is given, it descends," Morris said.

Moments later, Tavares Finson again made an off-mic comment that left Brown fuming.

He said Brown should have been punished for "bomb possession in Hanover".

Tavares Finson hesitantly withdrew the comment but by that time Brown, who was speaking for a long time, decided he would go no further.

Brown, a former member of the now defunct Worker's Party of Jamaica, said the incident to which Tavares Finson referred is a matter of public record.

He said he was framed and that he was freed by the courts.

Brown had set the tone for the verbal clash with Tavares Finson after painting the opposition as obstructive.

Tavares Finson, seemingly having had enough of Brown, said that the government senator has a tendency to exhibit "tenement yard" characteristics in the Senate and should "stop throwing words".

Brown took offence and said he would "ignore those who have descended into the mud".

"To state truth in this Parliament, for some of them it is tenement yard. But I grew up in and around tenement yard," Brown said.

He pointed out that he was from the tough area of Stand Pipe, St Andrew, unlike Tavares Finson who is from upper St Andrew.

"I wasn't the privileged son or relative of a minister of government. But those of you who want to get the votes of tenants in tenement yard must recognise and respect the people who live in tenement yard," Brown said.

He continued his lambaste saying it was no wonder Tavares Finson was rejected time and time again when he sought to be elected to Parliament.

Members of the Senate were debating a bill that proposes to give the Minister of National Security the power to waive Jamaican jurisdiction over its nationals who are found on vessels seaward of Jamaican territorial water with contraband.

Tavares Finson, Arthur Williams and Marlene Malahoo Forte as well as government senator KD Knight expressed concerns with the constitutionality of the bill.

Justice Minister Mark Golding, who is piloting the bill, moved for the suspension of the debate on the bill in order to consult with National Security Minister Peter Bunting.

He said, however, that the concerns raised are misplaced.