‘Lisa is ly­ing ... ’

Burke rips Hanna; sig­nals for­mer re­gion chair might have to an­swer to dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Ro­mario Scott Gleaner Writer ro­mario.scott@glean­erjm.com

THE BIT­TER war be­tween Gen­eral Sec­re­tary of the Peo­ple’s Na­tional (PNP) Party Paul Burke and the for­mer Re­gion One chair­man in the PNP hi­er­ar­chy, Lisa Hanna, has picked up steam, with com­ments made on the pub­lic air­waves yes­ter­day by the lat­ter.

Yes­ter­day, Hanna, among other claims, pub­licly ad­mit­ted that the re­la­tion­ship be­tween her and PNP Pres­i­dent Por­tia Simp­son Miller has be­come strained.

She said dur­ing an in­ter­view on Na­tion­wide ra­dio that a con­tro­ver­sial out­burst from Simp­son Miller in Clare­mont, St Ann, dur­ing the lead-up to Mon­day’s lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions con­trib­uted to the party los­ing sup­port and votes.

“Her com­ments were dis­ap­point­ing to me, and from what I picked up on the ground, to many of the res­i­dents in South East St Ann,” Hanna said on air.

“[Simp­son Miller] has said that she re­gret­ted them, but I also be­lieve that they had an im­pact on get­ting PNP vot­ers to come out and vote for the PNP can­di­dates,” she added.

SHOCKED BY PUB­LIC COM­MENTS

But, shocked that Hanna would pub­licly make such a state­ment, Burke has said that her com­ments should be brought to the party’s at­ten­tion for fur­ther de­ter­mi­na­tion and ac­tion.

“She said that pub­licly?” the gen­eral sec­re­tary asked af­ter Hanna’s com­ments were brought to his at­ten­tion shortly af­ter ar­riv­ing from Cuba, where he was part of a del­e­ga­tion at­tend­ing the thanks­giv­ing ser­vice for that na­tion’s late for­mer pres­i­dent, Fidel Cas­tro.

Said Burke: “It is a mat­ter the party has to ad­dress as to whether peo­ple can go and com­ment on such a thing pub­licly when the first thing you needed to have done is re­port it in­ter­nally.”

It is not the first time that Burke has taken is­sue with PNP mem­bers pub­licly crit­i­cis­ing the party and its pres­i­dent.

The is­sue pre­vi­ously came up when he threat­ened to drag Re­gion Six Chair­man Ian Hayles be­fore the PNP’s dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee af­ter he pub­licly crit­i­cised mem­bers of the party’s hi­er­ar­chy.

Burke has not only taken is­sue with Hanna’s com­ment about the in­flu­ence of Simp­son Miller, but has also ac­cused her of be­ing a stranger to the truth.

He was re­spond­ing to her claim, also on air, that she was ig­nored af­ter seek­ing the in­ter­ven­tion of the party sec­re­tar­iat months ago to po­lit­i­cally res­cue the par­ish of St Ann as it was in dan­ger of fall­ing to the Ja­maica Labour Party (JLP).

“I told the sec­re­tar­iat sev­eral times – ver­bally and in writ­ing – that there was a build­ing up of re­sent­ment, which could re­sult in Moneague, in par­tic­u­lar, go­ing to the JLP, and they dis­re­garded me ev­ery time I raised it,” Hanna said, claim­ing that Simp­son Miller also ig­nored her ap­peal for in­ter­ven­tion.

“She is ly­ing if she said the is­sues were ig­nored,” said Burke.

He told The Gleaner that the party in­ter­vened in the par­ish and even had ses­sions of me­di­a­tion where nec­es­sary.

He said the rea­son the Moneague di­vi­sion, lo­cated in Hanna’s South East St Ann con­stituency, fell to the JLP was be­cause, “pow­er­ful mem­bers in the Peo­ple’s Na­tional Party went out and sup­ported the in­de­pen­dent can­di­date who, up to two weeks ago, was a mem­ber of the ex­ec­u­tive of South East St Ann”.

FILE

Por­tia Simp­son Miller (left) and Lisa Hanna em­brace af­ter the lat­ter failed to se­cure a vice-pres­i­den­tial post dur­ing in­ter­nal Peo­ple’s Na­tional Party elec­tions in Septem­ber.

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