KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Jamaica’s Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips says he will announce the composition of his new “shadow” cabinet after the People’s National Party (PNP) holds its annual conference on September 22.
Phillips was re-elected PNP leader last Saturday, fighting off a challenge from former national security minister, Peter Bunting.
Phillips, 69, received 1,427 votes as against 1,351 for the 59-year-old Bunting.
“Following my re-election as president of the People’s National Party last Saturday, a number of members of the shadow cabinet, consistent with tradition, have tendered their resignation as shadow ministers.
“At a meeting of the party’s National Executive Council in April this year, I had indicated that I would be reorganizing the shadow cabinet after the end of the Parliamentary Sectoral Debate. The internal presidential election intervened and I considered it prudent to postpone that exercise,” Philips said in a statement.
“I now intend to undertake the shadow cabinet reorganization after the conclusion of the party’s Annual Conference on September 22. Until then I have asked all shadow ministers remain in place and continue to monitor their assigned portfolio.” Phillips said, adding that he would be meeting with Bunting on Tuesday.
Among those who had already tendered their resignations were Dr Dayton Campbell, who served as campaign chairman for Bunting, and campaign chairman Mark Golding.
“I can confirm that I have resigned. I am still an MP and I continue to be, but I believe that if you lead a campaign against the person who assigns the shadow cabinet, the decent and principled thing to do is to offer your resignation. I remain a member of the PNP and will serve in whatever capacity I am asked to,” Campbell said.
Following the election results, Phillips, who took over the leadership of the PNP in March 2017, following the party’s defeat in the 2016 general election, immediately offered an olive branch to Bunting.
“If the Comrades from the other side can hear me, I am issuing an invitation to all the comrades, including the leadership, including the candidate, come over, let’s celebrate as one party,” Phillips said.