Look at my track record, says Phillips at leadership campaign launch
People's National Party President Dr Peter Phillips addresses Comrades at his leadership campaign launch on Thursday. (PHOTO: Facebook)
Dr Peter Phillips was in a no nonsense mood as he launched his campaign to retain the presidency of the People’s National Party inside the Courtleigh Auditorium in St Andrew on Thursday evening.
Phillips, clearly riled by the attempt to oust him from the presidency of the party, held nothing back.
“Despite my record and achievements, there are some people who choose to find common ground with the JLP (Jamaica Labour Party),” he said to loud cheers.
Phillips is being challenged for leadership of the party by Central Manchester MP, Peter Bunting.
But Phillips appeared unfazed by the challenge and urged unity in the PNP as they seek to oust the ruling JLP from the seat of power. He cited his performance in the ministries of health, transport, finance and national security as reasons why the delegates of the party should retain him as president.
“Don’t care whatever happens, you have some people who are determined to carry a negative message about the PNP,” he said.
And he was well supported.
Many of the PNP Members of Parliament were there in support, including Wykeham McNeil, Lisa Hanna, Natalie Neita Headley and Phillip Paulwell.
There were also the regional chairmen out and also the shadow cabinet ministers and constituency caretakers.
Senator KD Knight was his usual jocular self as he endorsed Phillips for president.
“I am not supporting Peter Phillips because he is my friend, I support Phillips because of his record in the party and the government. So I have something to judge him by,” Knight said.
His challenger, Peter Bunting, has been throwing jabs at Phillips and insinuating that, due to his weight, Phillips is not fit for the job. Bunting’s camp also contends that, with Phillips, the PNP has no chance of ousting the JLP and retaking the reins of power.
That has not gone down well with Senator Damion Crawford, who is also a vice president of the party.
“Why has it become so frivolous? They say he is not fit for the job because he is fat?” Crawford asked at the launch.
Phillips has launched his campaign under the slogan, 'One PNP, Powerful Together' and on Thursday he urged Comrades to remain united as they head into general election season which is due in about 18 months.
“It is not about self, it is about the team and there is no I in team. I only want the best for the party that I have served for more than 40 years,” he said.