Fri | Oct 15, 2021

FLOSSIN’ FLOYD FALLS

Green quits ministry after party scandal but Cabinet members say he’ll return

Published:Thursday | September 16, 2021 | 12:12 AMKimone Francis/Senior Staff Reporter
Floyd Green arriving at Parliament hours after his resignation as minister of agriculture and fisheries on Wednesday.
Floyd Green arriving at Parliament hours after his resignation as minister of agriculture and fisheries on Wednesday.
JLP Councillor Andrew Bellamy has given up his SERHA board spot and chairmanship of KSAMC committees.
JLP Councillor Andrew Bellamy has given up his SERHA board spot and chairmanship of KSAMC committees.
Last Supper: The table at the R Hotel's District 5 restaurant where Floyd Green, Andrew Bellamy and others indulged in a maskless fiesta on September 14, a no-movement day.
Last Supper: The table at the R Hotel's District 5 restaurant where Floyd Green, Andrew Bellamy and others indulged in a maskless fiesta on September 14, a no-movement day.
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Cabinet colleagues of resigned Agriculture Minister Floyd Green have declared that he will be back. Green, the St Elizabeth South Western member of parliament, quit on Wednesday over a no-movement day party video that showed him among a group of...

Cabinet colleagues of resigned Agriculture Minister Floyd Green have declared that he will be back.

Green, the St Elizabeth South Western member of parliament, quit on Wednesday over a no-movement day party video that showed him among a group of people without masks during a birthday celebration at the R Hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday.

The measure was part of a series of three-day lockdowns imposed by the Government to rein in a third wave of the coronavirus.

Jamaica Labour Party Councillor Andrew Bellamy, who was also in the video, quit the board of the South East Regional Health Authority and resigned from all committees he chaired at the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation.

But hours after Green’s departure from the executive arm of Government, the 39-year-old took up his usual seat in the House of Representatives, greeting Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie in the process.

“Everybody is feeling a little bit hurt. Former Minister Green was promising and was a very inspiring member of the Cabinet, and I’m quite sure that this is not the end of him. I’m positive that he will come back,” McKenzie told The Gleaner ahead of the sitting of the Lower House.

In a terse statement on Wednesday announcing that it had been “agreed” that Green would withdraw from the Cabinet, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that the ex-minister could be engaged in other areas.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Audley Shaw, who has been reassigned the agriculture portfolio, said Green, who served briefly as his junior in 2019, will return.

“Of course, he’ll be tracking again,” Shaw said when asked by The Gleaner if he expects to see more of the attorney-at-law in the future.

“I’m saddened by it. He has made a courageous decision. In life, there are ups and downs, and failure is not falling down. Failure is when you don’t get up and keep on tracking,” he added.

Former People’s National Party member of parliament for St James Central and political commentator Lloyd B. Smith said Green’s resignation was the right thing to do, setting a precedent on how political figures should respond when caught in compromising situations.

Green, who appeared remorseful in a one-minute video posted to his social-media pages, admitted that his action was a “grave error of judgement” at a time when the Government is struggling to contain the spread of a deadly virus.

He also said that he is prepared to work doubly hard to regain lost trust.

In an earlier statement, Green said that his actions “demonstrated a lack of sensitivity”.

“No matter how briefly, and regardless of the circumstances, I should never have participated in any engagement that could indicate a lack of appreciation of the difficult and serious realities that now face the entire country. ... It was wrong,” he said.

Smith said the manner in which Green resigned appeared contrite and sincere, auguring well for him in the future.

However, he rebuked Holness for indicating that Green was likely to serve in other areas.

“That ought not to be the case. I think the former minister needs to lick his wounds for some time, stay within the confines of his St Elizabeth South West constituency, and maybe in another two to three years’ time, he can gradually return,” said Smith.

The political pundit and newspaper publisher said Green must pay the price for his indiscretion.

Opposition Leader Mark Golding has not dismissed the thought that Green, a former Generation 2000 president and state minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, could return to a similar position in the future.

He said, however, that this would have to come after an appropriate period during which Green should show full penitence.

“You have to set an example as a minister, and partying night after night or however often in circumstances where the people are under curfew and the people are supposed to be off the road is not right,” Golding told The Gleaner.

“If he learns that lesson, then I think everyone deserves a second chance.”

kimone.francis@gleanerjm.com