Vice-president of the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), St. Clair Leacock says he will address Parliament on Thursday about his future in politics, even as he said it seems that his party has left him behind.
The Central Kingstown MP made the announcement on Friday as he spoke on the party’s daily radio programme in which NDP president Godwin Friday made what is expected to be a weekly appearance.
Friday and Leacock were longstanding NDP vice-presidents until recently when their parliamentary colleagues chose Friday to replace East Kingstown MP, Arnhim Eustace, opposition leader.
At the NDP’s extraordinary convention late November, Leacock withdrew from the race for party leadership at the last moment, paving the way for Friday to take that post also.
He, however, read on radio, on Friday, a post made on Facebook by an NDP supporter who said, “think dr Friday should step down as leader of ndp and give it to major and see if it will make him any better or stop him from crying..”
The writer of the post also alleged that Leacock had “gone into secret meeting with a nasty dirty rapist..”
In his call to the radio programme, Leacock said:
“Now, these are people who are supposed to be supporters of the New Democratic Party. It happened before your election to the office of president [of the NDP].
“The point I am making, as others who have tried to get on the radio so quickly demonstrate, it is as if they are trying to determine that support for you is at the expense of Mr. Leacock and that I could permanently keep my peace and allow people to be disparaging me, insulting my own integrity and character and service to the New Democratic Party but painfully hurting my children and grandchildren in the United States of America, who must go through these things day after day as I try to serve the New Democratic Party,” Leacock said.
He added: “And I want to say loudly and clear that there is none in the New Democratic Party of more morality, integrity and character that I am. I have served this party faithfully and well. I have spoken to you; I have congratulated you and I have restated my appreciation of you and all the years we have — and you have confirmed that.”
Friday told listeners that he can confirm what Leacock said about stating his congratulations.
“And I can’t agree with posts like that, Major,” the NDP president said, adding “As you know, that is not something I would have any association with. And it is not something that I would encourage anyone to do so I would want that people will cease and desist.”
Leacock said that someone said some time ago that they heard that he brought over 1,200 bounced cheques.
“And it is this kind of continued onslaught upon me as I try to–” he was saying as Friday told him that, at the same time, he can’t give credence to everything.
“It is not a matter of giving credence,” Leacock responded.
“It is not a matter of giving credence. It is what the New Democratic Party has helped to sow against me over the last several weeks. And I doing all that is in my powers, Godwin — I am speaking to you very frankly about it: all that is in my powers to remain loyal and faithful to the New Democratic Party as I have done for over 30-somethng years.
“As I have stated before, I have not left the New Democratic Party. The party, seemingly, has left me. That is not something I want to deal with today because that is something I want to address the Parliament on politically. I am not a hypocrite and I deal with political service straight up and up front.”
Leacock said the NDP’s constituency group in Central Kingstown is in a “Rolls Royce condition” should an election be called anytime.
He said there was a consultation with executive and membership of the party last week and he accepted the mandate given to him to do certain things.
“I expect to remain faithful to the mandate that has been given to me by the people of Central Kingstown. I want all and sundry to know of what is my political responsibility and my commitment and integrity over the years in terms of political service.
“I warn and caution, however, that 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 New Democratic Party 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.”
Leacock told Friday he had “every confidence in your own integrity to give leadership to the New Democratic Party”.
Friday said Leacock knows that they both have had many conversations before and since the leadership transition.
“And these have been cordial conversations. I do not support any kind of public disparagement of any person in the New Democratic Party. I do not support the private matters of the New Democratic Party being dealt with in any public way. There are ways in which we can deal with things publicly and privately and we must know that I will not show support for any member of the party, whether it’s a member in the Parliament or an executive member or anybody who’s working in the leadership of the party to be disparaged by anyone. And I want that to stop as well,” Friday said.
Addressing Leacock, Friday said:
“But, Major, we must continue with our discussions and I know that you have given your commitment to seeing that the New Democratic Party go forward. You have given your commitment to me and I hold you by it.”