KINGSTON, Jamaica — Member of Parliament (MP) for Manchester North West Mikael Phillips has apologised for remarks he made at the public session of his constituency conference on Saturday.
In a statement today, Phillips noted that in describing the enthusiastic support for the PNP, he made remarks that North West Manchester will never go into the hands of the Jamaica Labour Party, as the PNP, under his watch will continue to work hard towards the further development of the constituency to ensure that the seat is retained.
“North West Manchester people… no Labourite can come yah and gwaan like North West Manchester a dem yard because when we tek road all bwoy haffi run weh, and all gal pickney haffi tek weh demself. We have one likkle tickie-tickie (JLP representative) a run up and dung inna North West; me a tell him seh a one man a yard deh yah and that is Mikael Asher Phillips, so if them thinks eh a done me done, me juss a come,” he expressed during his address at the constituency conference.
In his statement today, Phillips said: “If this was interpreted as derogatory to my political opponents and generally offensive to others, I am expressing regret. I would like to apologize for any offence that my presentation may have caused.”
The MP told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that the statement was being taken out of context.
“All I was saying was that the JLP is targeting the seat and because I am not fully on the ground they feel that they are comfortable in there, and all I am saying is don’t get too comfortable, because a only one man a yard and that’s me, and when I start working back on the ground on a daily basis, everybody haffi go run weh and leave the seat (but) you say it in Jamaican parlance,” he said.
Generation 2000 (G2K), the young professional affiliate of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), has come out against Phillips, calling on the Office of the Political Ombudsman (OPO), the Electoral Commission of Jamaica, and civil society groups, to intervene, stating that, “Mr Phillips’ dangerous utterances may be construed as incitement and cannot be left unaddressed”.