Full Text | Azan and Hayles apologise for Rhoda Crawford remarks
People's National Party (PNP) vice-presidents designate Richard Azan and Ian Hayles have apologised for their political attack on Manchester Central Member of Parliament Rhoda Crawford on the weekend.
At a PNP Manchester Central constituency conference, Hayles said that Crawford's performance has been dismal.
“How can you change a minister for a benchwarmer?” he asked Comrades who turned out at the Manchester High School.
Meanwhile, Azan accused Crawford of profiling instead of working to improve the conditions in her constituency.
“Sometimes I wonder if some likkle tings a gwaan, but it look like something no right up yah suh,” said Azan, pointing to his head.
Azan and Hayles have faced strong criticisms for their remarks.
In a statement this morning, the men said that they have reflected on their remarks and are sorry for offending Crawford.
“While it was not the intention of either of us to say anything that could be regarded as outside the range of acceptable political platform oratory, we now both realise that what was said by us has caused offence, not only to our colleague, the Member of Parliament for Manchester Central but also to members of the public,” they said.
Having reflected on our remarks last Saturday, we have come to a greater awareness that the norms in our society have evolved.
What was once cut-and-thrust banter on a political platform now constitutes an unacceptable personal attack on another politician. In particular, we realise the importance of creating an environment which encourages persons to serve through politics, as our country faces unprecedented challenges.
While it was not the intention of either of us to say anything that could be regarded as outside the range of acceptable political platform oratory, we now both realise that what was said by us has caused offence, not only to our colleague, the Member of Parliament for Manchester but also to members of the public.
We apologise to MP Crawford and all who were offended by our remarks.
We both consider it important that the political atmosphere in Jamaica should not be a disincentive to participation in political life, especially by women who are still under-represented in representational politics.
We both believe deeply in the necessity of equal participation in hopes that we may, as politicians, better represent our constituents.
We commit to be more mindful of how our language may affect others in the future and we will maintain a higher standard of civility in our discourse and encourage others to do the same.
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