Opposition Leader, Mark Golding, is threatening to sue Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Heroy Clarke, for defamation.

Mr. Clarke is the MP for Central St. James.

The allegation stems from a post purportedly written by Mr. Clarke in a WhatsApp group.

Lawyers representing Mr. Golding wrote to Mr. Clarke, demanding an unreserved written apology along with payment for damages.

Chevon Campbell tells us more.

The pre-action letter, on Mark Golding’s behalf, was sent on the letter head of Golding’s law firm, Hart Muirhead Fatta.

It’s signed by King’s Counsel, Michael Hylton.

It says on or about June 6, 2024, the JLP’s Heroy Clarke published statements defamatory of Mr. Golding in a WhatsApp group called CC Business Network.

The group has approximately 300 members,

The letter says those statements comprised utterly false claims about his wife and the origin of their relationship.

KC Hylton says the statements have disparaged Mr. Golding, his character, and his reputation as Leader of the Opposition, a former minister in government, an attorney-at-law, an investment banker, and a businessman.

The letter says Mr. Clarke’s alleged statements have severely injured and damaged his credit and business, and have brought him into public scandal, odium, and contempt.

It says this has caused considerable distress and embarrassment to him. 

KC Hylton says the statements have also caused reputational damage to Mr. Golding. 

He’s demanding that Mr. Clarke agree to provide a full and unreserved written apology to Mr. Golding in a newspaper of islandwide circulation in Jamaica, in form and substance and with prominence acceptable to Mr. Golding.

The letter also calls on the Central St. James MP to agree to enter into discussions regarding the settlement of their client’s claim against him for damages for defamation.

KC Hylton says he holds instructions to bring proceedings against Mr. Clarke if he fails to meet their demands by 4PM next Monday.

When contacted about the matter, the Deputy Speaker said he was unwilling to discuss it.