Reid resigns – JLP loses second gov’t minister within months

Amid allegations of wrongdoing at his ministry, Ruel Reid has adhered with the prime minister’s request for him to resign as Minister of Education, Youth and Information.

He also relinquished his seat in the Senate.

Reid, who is pictured above, is also the caretaker/candidate for the governing Jamaica Labour Party in the North West St Ann constituency. It is not yet clear if he will be removed from that position.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, in a statement this morning, March 20, disclosed: “In keeping with the principles of good governance, I requested and received Minister Reid’s resignation.”

He further stated that the resignation will ensure that any investigation into the allegations are not impeded by Reid’s presence or oversight at the ministry.

The ministry will now fall under the temporary supervision of the Office of the Prime Minister.

ALLEGATIONS

Reid’s resignation comes after Leader of the Opposition Dr Peter Phillips publicly called on the Auditor General, Pamela Monroe-Ellis, to immediately investigate allegations of breaches and misuse of public funds, involving the Ministry of Education and the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU).

Dr Phillips said the Opposition was aware of issues regarding cronyism, nepotism and corruption at the CMU.

He further stated that he is concerned about how funds were utilized after they were allocated from HEART NTA to the Ministry of Education for the Career Advancement Programme and the TVET Rationalization Programme.

The opposition leader further claimed that politically connected persons employed as advisors have not been doing any work, “but have been collecting hefty salaries, which is a clear case of misuse of public funds”.

Reid, in the meantime, is the second minister to resign from the Holness cabinet since the February 2016 general election

Dr Andrew Wheatley

In July last year, the embattled Dr Andrew Wheatley resigned as Minister of Science and Technology as scandals erupted in agencies that were under his ministerial control.

By Horace Mills, Journalist


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