Wed | Oct 4, 2023

Moore says he has no intention of joining JLP

Sav-la-Mar mayor dismisses rumours PNP councillors plan to cross floor

Published:Saturday | June 10, 2023 | 12:43 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer


WHILE Not endorsing Ian Hayles, the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation’s (WMC) political director, Bertel Moore, has said that he would never discredit himself or his beloved People’s National Party (PNP) by defecting to the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

This comes amidst disenchantment in the PNP ranks out west after Hayles was selected as Western Westmoreland’s parliamentary candidate for the next general elections.

“That’s stupid, I have no idea where they get that from, that is complete nonsense,” Moore said to media allegations that claimed he and other PNP councillors were considering defecting to the JLP in order to tip the balance of power at the WMC.

“I shall stay at home on the day that I am upset with the People’s National Party,” Moore said in a Gleaner interview days after more than 700 delegates voted on June 4 to elect Hayles as the constituency representative for the next general elections.

“I can never cross the floor to go to a Jamaica Labour Party, never in my lifetime,” Moore said.

“Until the day I die, I shall remain a PNP. The People’s National Party is the party that represents the poorer class of the society, thus I am not at all switching over to the JLP,” the Savanna-la-Mar mayor added.

Strong opposition

In spite of strong opposition from Garfield James, councillor for the Sheffield Division who refused to share the ballot with Hayles, the party’s vice president, PNP delegates voted on June 4 to choose Hayles’ as the party’s standard-bearer in the next general elections.

Ninety-nine per cent of the more than 700 delegates who cast ballots for a PNP representative at the selection conference chose the former lawmaker and entrepreneur Hayles to represent them. This has come even after a demonstration by some PNP supporters in Little London square against the choice of Hayles.

James, Hayles’ rival and principal of Little London High School, abstained from the pivotal election at Little London Primary School in Westmoreland on the day of the decision-making.

The monthly meeting of the WMC went according to plan with Moore as chairman, and no one mentioned crossing the political line to join the JLP.

Rudolph Uter, the minority leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) caucus in the WMC, told The Gleaner that while he had heard rumours of PNP members joining the JLP side to oppose Hayles’ selection, he was not personally aware of any discussion being held with the JLP members.

When contacted, Uter stated: “We were never contacted by any member of the PNP, under the leadership of Bertel Moore, for the majority PNP caucus.”

“I only saw a report of their alleged intention in The Gleaner while I was overseas on an emergency family trip,” he said.

“Nobody has approached us about going across the floor and tipping the power balance to the JLP,” added Uter, councillor of the Frome division.