KINGSTON – Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Floyd Green resigned on Wednesday and apologised to the people of Jamaica after he was caught on camera at a social gathering failing to observe COVID-19 protocols on a “no-movement day”.
A video showing several people, including Green, Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) councillor for the Mona Division in the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation Andrew Bellamy and Green’s assistant Gabrielle Hylton, who is also vice-president of the JLP National Organisation for Women, was widely circulated on social media.
The event took place at a hotel on Tuesday which was designated a “no-movement day” as part of measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The group was seen eating and drinking and toasting to the “no-movement day”.
Green said in a statement issued on Wednesday he had met earlier in the day with Prime Minister Andrew Holness and indicated he would “withdraw from the Cabinet”.
“I have disappointed so many – my family, including my son, my Prime Minister and, most importantly, the people of Jamaica who I have sworn to serve,” he said.
“No matter how briefly, and regardless of the circumstances, I should never have participated in any engagement that could indicate a lack of appreciation of the difficult and serious realities that now face the entire country.”
He added: “My actions have demonstrated a lack of sensitivity for the difficult realities that all of us are facing currently. It was wrong. I accept that this was an error in judgment and that it sends the wrong signal especially in light of the government’s drive to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“For this, I am really and truly very sorry. I can and will promise that this lapse in judgment will not reoccur.”
The Southwest St. Elizabeth member of parliament said he would work hard to regain the trust and regard of the Jamaican people, and he would remain “100 per cent committed” to serve the constituency he was elected to represent in the last two general elections.
“Again, I apologise, promise to, in the future, do right by the Jamaican people,” his statement ended.
Jamaicans are restricted from moving on lockdown days from Sunday to Tuesday, which are commonly referred to as “no movement days”.
Exemptions are given only to certain individuals in relation to their specific work, including people considered part of essential services and anyone going to get a COVID-19 vaccine.