Mon | May 10, 2021

Hanna shuns party dispute in public

Published:Saturday | October 24, 2020 | 12:11 AMJudana Murphy/Gleaner Writer

Contender for the presidency of the People’s National Party (PNP), Lisa Hanna, has asserted that healing and rebuilding the political organisation’s internal structures must be done outside of the public’s eyes.

“For too long, the PNP, in many ways, has discussed a lot of what we do internally, externally,” she told a Gleaner Editors’ Forum yesterday.

“It doesn’t give us the ability to have one-on-one frank discussions about things that are personal, things that need sometimes deeper discussion, and you need to do those things away from the eyes of the press, from the eyes of the public, and really come back to a sense of love and compassion and nurturing. Those things are done best behind closed doors,” said Hanna.

The St Ann South East member of parliament (MP) said that she took a deliberate decision, along with her campaign team, to be more on the ground as she prepares for the November 7 polls.

She added that she has been public when she needs to be and continues to work with the councillors in her constituency.

Lydia Richards, councillor for the Bensonton division in St Ann South Eastern, who challenged Hanna in the past, is retiring from active politics.

“There’s a young guidance counsellor who is taking over as the candidate, and I have asked her to be on the ground with him, and she is,” Hanna revealed.

The presidential candidate was a supporter of Dr Peter Phillips in the September 2019 leadership challenge, which brought about disunity in the party.

“I felt Peter Phillps would’ve made an excellent prime minister. He had the track record across health, finance, transport, security, and I still believe, had we won, that he would make an excellent prime minister.”

She continued: “I don’t think he failed at trying with the unity. I think where persons are misguided is because of the election defeat. They are using that to judge what he did internally, and I think it is judging him unfairly.”

Hanna pointed out that the party has just come out of an election that has left some of its members still “battle worn”.

The MP, who has won her seat for four consecutive elections, shared that the party faced a range of challenges in the last election period but deepest among them were the “internal challenges that plagued us”.

Meanwhile, former PNP member of parliament for St Ann North Western, Dr Dayton Campbell, remarked recently that the party needs a leader with finances and the support of the private sector.

Campbell is supporting PNP presidential candidate Mark Golding ahead of the election.

In response, Hanna said: “I will have those [conversations] face to face with that Comrade. I have no intention of getting into a public debate with another Comrade ... . I will let Dayton know that personally.”

She added that she would continue to run a “clean campaign”.