Jamaica – Former JLP MP, joins PNP
KINGSTON – JOAN Gordon-Webley, former head of the National Solid Waste Management Authority and Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) member, has confirmed that she has joined the ruling People’s National Party (PNP), saying that she is willing to face whatever criticism that may come as a result of the move.
“I think it (the application to join the party) has gone through most of the stages and is close to completion,” said Gordon-Webley, who last year resigned as the JLP’s caretaker for St Andrew East Rural.
PNP General Secretary Paul Burke, in a release last night, said Gordon-Webley’s membership application was approved by the party’s executive on Monday night. “The approval was by a clear and decisive majority of the members of the executive committee,” said Burke.
Burke, however, said that Gordon-Webley is not a candidate, nor is she an applicant to be a candidate for any constituency in the People’s National Party. “The party’s candidate application process formally closed on Tuesday, 30th June 2015 and the names of applicants for all 63 constituencies were disclosed to the executive committee on Monday, 6th July 2015,” he said.
There was speculation that Gordon-Webley would be going for the St Andrew East Rural seat, which she contested and lost to the PNP’s Damion Crawford — now a junior minister — and that she also had an interest in the St Andrew West Central seat held by Opposition Leader Andrew Holness.
Gordon-Webley, in an interview with the Jamaica Observer, said that despite parting ways with the JLP she was still prepared to serve her country, but this time as a member of the PNP.
Gordon-Webley said she was also aware that her decision would draw some backlash, but she was prepared to face the music. “I am aware that there may be some level of criticism, but it is something that I am willing to face,” she told the Observer in a telephone interview.
Yesterday, general secretary of the JLP Dr Horace Chang, who last year described the sudden resignation of Gordon-Webley as unfortunate, declined to comment when asked if he viewed her joining the PNP as a threat to the JLP leading into the next elections.
But Chang said: “The loss of any member is unfortunate. But she is free; she is an individual with no impairment in her life as a citizen so she is free to join whichever party she wishes to choose.”