Embattled Jamaican politician George Wright, who is accused of domestic abuse, has resigned as a member of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).
Wright, the member of parliament for Central Westmoreland, has been at the center of a national abuse scandal after he was allegedly caught on video in April hitting a woman with his fists and a stool.
Following the incident, several social justice and business groups including the Jamaica Accountability Meter Portal, the National Integrity Action, Jamaicans for Justice, the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica, and the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce had called on Wright to resign.
Several members of the diaspora had also called on the Jamaican government to do more to address gender-based violence on the island, following the incident.
Dr. Allan Cunningham, Global Jamaica Diaspora Council Representative for the Southern States, said in an interview with Caribbean National Weekly, “I was 100 percent disappointed with the decision of the government and even more disappointed by such an archaic justice system. To have such a blatant act of criminality go unpunished is a low moment for Jamaica. This is one moment when I am not proud of the country.”
His actions also sparked the “We Naa Ease Up” campaign, where some 80 Jamaicans at home and in the diaspora demanded his resignation. They also held a national protest against gender-based violence.
George Wright was subsequently removed from the parliamentary caucus. He later applied for and was granted leave of absence from the House of Representatives until June 21.
In a statement issued on June 4th, the governing JLP said Wright submitted a letter of resignation to JLP General Secretary, Dr. Horace Chang, terminating his membership in the party.
The statement reads, “JLP has accepted Mr. Wright’s resignation and notes his stated intention to address matters in the public domain, and his continued belief in the policies and programmes of the government and Party.”
Wright will, however, remain as member of parliament for Central Westmoreland as an independent MP.