Sunday 29 November, 2020

Ousted JLP candidate, Ryan Simpson, ‘will return’, says Chang

General Secretary of the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), Dr Horace Chang, has expressed confidence that Dr Ryan Simpson, the party’s ousted candidate for South East St Ann in the 2020 General Elections that are scheduled for September 3, will return to representational politics.

In a media interview on Friday, Chang said if Simpson was allowed to run on the party’s ticket in the coming polls despite breaches of the COVID-19 protocols that have been laid at his feet, it would hurt the party at the polls.

"If he had gone forward, it would hurt us. As it stand now – yes, a late change is a challenge to a constituency - but as we pull together we expect the organisation to pull together and carry on," said Chang.

But of Simpson’s future in politics, he said:  "There will be a place for him in the organisation and he will have his day. He will return. I am confident. He has a keen interest in serving people, a good people person; the kind of person who we need in politics, and he will return," said Chang.

Educator Maxine Simpson has been selected as the new JLP candidate to contest the seat. She will go up against the incumbent, Lisa Hanna, of the People's National Party (PNP).

Dr Horace Chang

Chang said Ryan Simpson, who is a minister of religion, was replaced because he recently arrived in the island from overseas and did not adhere to the COVID-19 protocols which required him to be quarantined at home for a period of 14 days.

The JLP general secretary, who is also the Minister of National Security, said the JLP was left with no option but to replace Ryan Simpson.

"We had a matter we had to deal with. It was not easy to deal with it, but we had to. All leadership in the country have to recognise their responsibility to ensure that the laws are obeyed in this fight against the pandemic. There can be no exception, no privilege to anyone.

“The gentleman was quite humbled by the event, and he has taken steps to withdraw because he was an excellent representative for the people down there, but he realised he made a major error, because in this phase of the pandemic there can be no exception and no privileges granted to anyone," stressed Chang.

"That is one of the problems that this country faces. Many people in authority seek privileges. We don't accommodate that in this Government or party, but I say Mr Simpson has acted with dignity and respect," added the general secretary.

He said the Simpsons (Maxine and Ryan) will be working together in the party organisation in the constituency.

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