Speaker of the House of Representatives, Marisa Dalrymple Philibert, yesterday disclosed the details of the leave of absence she granted to embattled MP for Central Westmoreland, George Wright.
Leader of Opposition Business, Anthony Hylton, moved a motion demanding that the Speaker explain herself to the Parliament and the people of Jamaica.
Mrs. Dalrymple Phillibert says while she had no duty to explain herself under the Standing Orders, she told the House she had nothing to hide.
A motion was moved for the sitting of the House to be adjourned when Anthony Hylton rose to his feet.
He would not allow the MPs to leave the chamber until the Speaker explained her actions with respect to Mr. Wright.
Mr. Hylton wanted to know the reasons Wright was granted leave, whether he was still being paid and what considerations informed the Speaker’s decision.
The Speaker’s response was strident.
She told the House that MP Wright has applied for leave to attend to unforeseen circumstances.
The Speaker says the leave was granted with effect from April 20 to June 21.
She cautioned the MPs against being led by what she referred to as jungle law.
The Speaker advised the House that it is likely George Wright is still being paid his salary.
Hylton’s motion outraged several members of the government benches who blasted him for questioning the ruling of the Speaker.
Justice Minister Delroy Chuck took to his feet to condemn the Opposition’s motion as unparliamentary.
The sitting ended with the Speaker reiterating the importance of due process under the law.
More than 30 civil society, private sector and church organizations have called on Wright to resign.
Meanwhile, The House Speaker says, Mr. Wright’s reason for leave of absence is due to unforeseen circumstances and a matter of urgency.
Mrs. Dalrymple Phillibert, contends that the standing orders do not require her to disclose the reasons for leave of absence but insists she has nothing to hide.
Marisa Dalrymple Phillibert, Speaker of the House of Representatives.