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Horne says his appearance ‘not a slight of Leacock’

Horne says his appearance ‘not a slight of Leacock’

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John Horne, the former parliamentarian for the New Democratic Party says his appearance on behalf of the party at the National Heroes Day ceremony is not an indication that he is returning to the political arena.{{more}}

Horne was listed to speak on behalf of the Opposition Leader Arnihm Eustace, who over the years has been represented at the ceremony by Member of Parliament St Claire Leacock.

“Actually he was the one who recommended that I sit and represent the opposition on the National Heroes Advisory Committee,” Horne told SEARCHLIGHT.

“So, I accepted his invitation to come here because a lot of it would be surrounding that and I had the basic information,” he added.

The former Minister of Education and parliamentary representative for West Kingstown said that he did not see his appointment to speak as a slight of current Central Kingstown parliamentary representative Leacock, who was also at the event held at Dorsetshire Hill.

Last year, Leacock caused a stir when speaking at the ceremony; he claimed that he would prefer to speak in his own capacity, and not for someone else.

Later in the year, he suggested that any person who wishes to lead the nation should attend the annual Independence celebrations at Victoria Park.

Eustace in recent years had not attended the parade.

Horne told SEARCHLIGHT that despite all that, he does not see an issue with him representing the party.

“…Because of the significance of the occasion, Mr Eustace also knows that I headed a committee which met for almost five years to look at the system of national honours, and a bill to enact national honours went to Parliament, and had its first reading in 2001, but the election came, we lost and so the bill fell; so, I’ve been very much involved in things like that.

“So, it is things like that I think motivated Mr Eustace, because anywhere you go, whether it’s national heroes or a system of national honours I’ve been involved.”

Horne also lamented the fact that a national hero or heroes has/have not been selected as yet, but said that the committee, headed by another former parliamentarian René Baptiste, is hard at work and he looks forward to the committee making a presentation soon.

“One of the problems the committee has had is representation among the members at meetings and the meetings have been spread somewhat, so that I think that has contributed to the delay, but the chairman has been trying her best.…”

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