During a sitting of the House of Representatives last week, Jamaica’s Leader of opposition business, Anthony Hylton continued to put pressure on government officials to answer questions regarding embattled Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) member of parliament George Wright.
During a sitting of parliament last Wednesday, Hylton demanded that the Speaker of the House, Marisa Dalrymple Philibert give the Jamaican people more details surrounding the terms of Wright’s leave.
In response, Dalrymple-Philibert said that while she is not obligated to explain why she granted Wright’s request for leave, she also has nothing to hide. She revealed that Wright is on leave from the house until June 21.
“My absence is due to unforeseen circumstances and the fact that there are certain matters which I am required to attend to as a matter of urgency,” Dalrymple-Philibert said as she read the request from Wright.
Hylton also pressed the Speaker to find out if George Wright will still be paid while on leave from the house. She said like all other members of parliament that have requested leaves, she suspects he is still being compensated.
The questions posed by Hylton drew the ire of some members of the Jamaica Labour Party, who said that Hylton was being disrespectful to the speaker.
Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck said Hylton’s questions were outrageous and said that his motion was “rude and out of order”, while Senator Pearnel Charles Jr said the questions were inflammatory.
While accepting the arguments as true, Dalrymple Philibert also noted that the issue surrounding Wright is a matter of public concern.
“I have done so because I have nothing to hide,” she said. “I want to make it abundantly that none of us condones domestic violence, but we cannot, as a Parliament, be led by jungle law. We have to abide by the laws.”
The Speaker of the house ended parliament, highlighting the importance of due process.
Since the allegations of abuse came to the fore, over 30 social justice, religious and private sector groups have called on Wright to resign.