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I cannot continue to be a victim of friendly fire – Leacock

I cannot continue to be a victim of friendly fire –  Leacock

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St Clair Leacock, a vice-president of the New Democratic Party (NDP), believes that he has been the victim of friendly fire from supporters of the NDP and he will give a statement this Thursday in Parliament about his political future.

Leacock aired his grievance while calling in to the New Times radio programme last Friday, a programme on which newly appointed Leader of the Opposition and president of the NDP Godwin Friday was a panellist.

“I cannot continue indefinitely to be the victim of friendly fire from those in whose name I am supposed to work,” a disappointed Leacock said.{{more}}

During his contribution to the programme, Leacock read a post which had been made about him on social media, which asked if after the Special Sitting of Parliament on Thursday, December 8, Leacock had a closed door meeting with Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

Reading, Leacock said the post also asked if he (Leacock) was being offered the post of deputy Prime Minister.

Both Leacock and Gonsalves have denied that any such meeting was held.

According to Leacock, the post also suggested that Dr Friday should step down and the leadership of the NDP be given to Leacock, so he can “stop crying over spilt milk….”

Commenting on the post, Leacock said, “These are supposed to be people who are supporters of the New Democratic Party…. It’s as if they are trying to determine that the support for you is at the expense of Mr Leacock and that I could permanently keep my peace and allow people to be disparaging, not insulting my integrity and character and service to the NDP, but painfully hurting my children and grandchildren in the USA, who must painfully go through these things day after day as I try to serve the NDP.

“And I want to say loudly and clearly, there is none in the NDP of more morality, integrity and character than I have. I have served the party faithfully and well. I have spoken to you, I have congratulated you and I have restated my appreciation of you and all the several years you have served this party,” Leacock, who has been Parliamentary Representative for Central Kingstown since 2005, added.

Friday, in response, confirmed that Leacock had congratulated him on his victory in the NDP leadership race and said he disassociated himself from posts such as the one Leacock had read. The NDP president said he would not encourage anyone to do so and asked that people “cease and desist,” from any such posts.

Friday, however, encouraged Leacock to not give credence to everything that is said about him.

Leacock stated: “…It was the NDP that has helped to sow against me over the last several weeks and I am doing all that’s in my power … to remain loyal and faithful to the NDP, as I have done for over 30 something years.

“I stated before, I have not left the NDP; the party seemingly has left me,” Leacock added.

He stated that when Parliament meets on Thursday, December 15, he would make a statement on where he stands politically.

Leacock, who is popularly known as “The Major”, then asked Friday’s permission to make a statement:

“…I warn and caution, however, no one, absolutely no one must take my contribution to politics for granted and I will speak in a detailed way on this matter when I address the Parliament next Thursday, so that people shall know what direction I will go politically in service to this country.

“I have paid my dues and the disparagement must stop and those in the NDP who believe that I have a contribution to make one way or the other need to bring it to an end. I cannot continue indefinitely to be the victim of friendly fire from those in whose name I am supposed to work. I am like anyone else – human; you stick me, you will find blood.”

He ended by thanking Friday and wishing him and the NDP well.

Friday, in response, however, said he and Leacock had many conversations before and since the leadership of the NDP had been decided.

“And these had been cordial conversations; I do not support any public disparagement of any person in the NDP. I do not support the private matters of the NDP being dealt with in any public way. I mean there are ways in which we can deal with things publicly and privately and we must know that I will not support for any member of the party, whether it’s a member in the Parliament or an executive member or anybody who is working in the leadership of the party to be disparaged by anyone and I want that to stop as well.

“But Major, we must continue with our discussions, and I know that you have given your commitment to seeing that the NDP goes forward. You have given your commitment to me, and I hold you by it.”

Friday was elected Leader of the Opposition and president of the NDP last month after the retirement of Arnhim Eustace, in a race in which Leacock was his only challenger for president of the party. (CM)

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