Central Manchester Member of Parliament, the PNP’s Peter Bunting says he in no way intended to belittle the achievements of the JLP’s Dr. Nigel Clarke when he made controversial comments about Clarke’s education, style of speaking and aspirations.
Comments by Mr. Bunting and PNP sympathiser, the Reverend Garnett Roper, is generating public backlash on electronic and social media. The remarks were made during an episode of Mr. Bunting’s online series, “Probe’.
Dr. Clarke is the MP-elect for North West St. Andrew after he defeated the PNP’s Keisha Hayle in a by-election yesterday.
In a statement this afternoon – Mr. Bunting says there has been the absurd suggestion that somehow the Probe episode was belittling the achievement of higher education.
Bunting says this was clearly not the intention. He says it should be noted that each of the candidates in yesterday’s by-election and the Probe presenters have earned either PhD’s or Master’s degrees. He says there was no intent to disparage educational excellence.
The former PNP General Secretary says he’d like to congratulate Dr. Clarke on his victory yesterday and to say to Miss Hayle “well and courageously run!”
Mr. Bunting says the episode of Probe was about contrasting the two candidates – Dr. Clarke through an orthodox academic and technocratic stream.
And Miss Hayle, through a compelling personal story and extraordinary commitment to the children of Padmore Primary. He says it must be noted he concluded that both types were needed in Jamaica’s Parliament.
Mr. Bunting’s statement came this afternoon as his and Reverend Roper’s comments about Dr. Clarke continue to generate controversy.
During the probe episode, Roper had a wry grin and began by telling Bunting – who’s a prominent Banker, that he’s not sure that Dr. Clarke is as much of a success story as Clarke is being made out to be.
Public criticism is fueling the phrase #BlackRoyalty causing it to trend at number one on Twitter today.
Dr. Clarke is a Rhodes Scholar and an Oxford graduate. He’s also a former CEO of the powerful Mussons group, a former Senator and one of Jamaica’s economic affairs Ambassadors.
Clarke is also a former student of St. Richard’s Primary and Munro College.
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