PNP names 27-member shadow Cabinet

LEADER of the People’s National Party (PNP) Dr Peter Phillips yesterday named two non-parliamentarians to his 27-member team of shadow spokespersons and deputies.

The two — outspoken politician Damion Crawford and attorney Donna Scott Mottley — are, however, expected to replace Opposition senators Mark Golding and Angela Brown Burke in the Senate after the two contest the upcoming by-elections in St Andrew South and St Andrew South Western, respectively. They are both safe seats which the PNP candidates are expected to win easily.

The two St Andrew seats were vacated earlier this year by Dr Omar Davies and former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.

Members of the shadow Cabinet, named by Phillips yesterday at a press conference at the PNP’s headquarters in Kingston are:

• Peter Phillips, Leader of the Opposition and spokesman on defence;

• Mark Golding, finance and planning;

• Lambert Brown, public service;

• Angela Brown Burke, local government;

• Damion Crawford, youth and culture;

• Donna Scott Mottley, justice

• Julian Robinson, science and technology;

• Mikael Phillips, transport & works;

• Richard Azan, housing;

• Ian Hayles, water and climate change;

• Ronald Thwaites, education and training;

• Michael Stewart, training;

• Noel Arscott, community development and social transformation;

• Dr Dayton Campbell, health;

• Fitz Jackson, national security;

• Peter Bunting, industry, investment and competitiveness;

• Philip Paulwell, mining and energy and leader of Opposition business in the House;

• Dr Fenton Ferguson, agriculture and rural development;

• Victor Wright, rural development;

• Wykeham McNeill, tourism and entertainment;

• Horace Dalley, labour and welfare;

• Senator Floyd Morris, welfare;

• Senator Sophia Fraser Binns, land and environment;

• Anthony Hylton, development and national physical planning, and the National Housing Trust;

• Lisa Hanna, foreign affairs and foreign trade; and

• Natalie Neita, sports, information and gender, and deputy leader of Opposition business in the House of Representatives.

Fraser Binns, Neita and Hylton will work from the Office of the Leader of the Opposition.

“This team is a mixture of experience and youthfulness,” Phillips told journalists yesterday. “They are all very competent people, as are the other members of the team in the House and the Senate.”

“We have emphasised the NHT as being of particular importance to our perception of the mission of providing housing and access to land and overcoming the deficit in residential provisioning that the country now faces,” he said.

Phillips said he expects the shadow ministers to network with party commissions; develop a task force; establish contact with stakeholders in their portfolio areas; as well as be able to explain the party’s position of varying matters.

Though Bunting has responsibility for industry, investment and competitiveness, he will assume temporary chairmanship of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) until Golding’s election to the Lower House.

The committee, which is usually chaired by the Opposition spokesperson on finance, has not met since November 2016, under Dr Phillips’s leadership. This is despite the submission of numerous reports by the Auditor General’s Department to Parliament for reviewing.

The PAC is a parliamentary body with responsibility of reviewing and examining reports submitted by the auditor general.