Fri | Jun 21, 2024

‘Back off!’

Warmington slams Golding as failed leader after former PM weighs in on state role in SSL saga

Published:Friday | January 27, 2023 | 1:10 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer
Everald Warmington.
Everald Warmington.
Bruce Golding.
Bruce Golding.
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WESTERN BUREAU:

Everald Warmington has rebuked former Prime Minister Bruce Golding for suggesting that the Government has not been blameless in the Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL) saga as it issues licences to investment houses, indicating to the public that it is safe to conduct business with these entities.

The private-investment firm is now the centre of an investigation as dozens of clients’ accounts at the entity were reportedly defrauded of billions of dollars.

“The Government has a responsibility. They are the ones that issue licences to these investment houses, and [with] the issuing of the licence, what they are saying to the public is that I am satisfied that these are good people to do business with, so you can go do business with them. Well that is what Usain Bolt did, and look what happened to him,” Golding, a former Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leader, said during a radio programme.

The remarks infuriated Warmington, a minister without portfolio in the current JLP administration.

“This is not a civil war. It’s a guy (Golding) who has lost his relevance and is trying to be relevant by attacking your own party. That don’t make you relevant,” Warmington told journalists on Wednesday during a tour in St Elizabeth.

“ ... I will defend the Jamaica Labour Party, Andrew Holness’ administration. and Prime Minister Andrew Holness by any means necessary. All within my power, I will defend them, even against one who is supposed to be one of us,” said Warmington.

“I want to say, ‘Bruce, you need to stop it and stop it now. Back off! Stop it now!’,” he continued, labelling Golding, who resigned in 2011 in the wake of the 2010 Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke extradition saga and the deadly Tivoli Gardens operation as a “failed” prime minister.

Holness succeeded Golding as leader of the JLP and as prime minister.

“ ... I would have expected someone who claimed to have been a former leader – who claimed to be prime minister – of the Labour Party to protect and defend the party and Government, [but] that’s not what Bruce Golding is doing,” Warmington charged.

He added that SSL is a privately owned company, and so the Government should not be blamed for activities leading to investors being scammed out of their money.

“ ... It hurts me for me to be saying this today, but he must be a man. You (Golding) have failed. You had a failed Government. You are a failed leader. Walk away and leave the young man (Holness) to lead,” Warmington continued.

He said that should Golding find it necessary to advise Holness on any matter, he should resort to doing so behind closed doors.

albert.ferguson@gleanerjm.com