Robert Montague, MP for Western St Mary (MP) and chairman of the ruling Jamaica Labor Party (JLP), has tendered his resignation as a member of Cabinet with immediate effect.
The beleaguered Minister without Portfolio of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation (MEGJC) has recently come under intense public scrutiny over a range of developments in a number of portfolios he held in the cabinets of the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) led by Andrew Holness. , where he served in agriculture and fishing, national security, transportation and mining before being recently demoted to manage a number of aspects of the MEGJC portfolio.
News emerged earlier this week from an Integrity Commission report that cited a number of instances in which Montague, as National Security Minister, allegedly approved the granting of firearms licenses for a number of people that the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) had pointed out. as not fit and fit to hold the licenses.
With startling details of the developments in each case revealed in the FLA report, which also cited questionable actions flagged by another former security minister, Peter Bunting, and the former deputy chairman of the board of FLA, Dennis Meadows, Montague met with Holness late Friday night and offered his resignation as premier.
In a concise statement late Friday evening, Holness reported that Montague had left the Cabinet.
“Late tonight [Friday]I have met Minister Robert Montague who has tendered his resignation with immediate effect,” Holness said in a brief statement.
The statement said Montague said it was a “privilege to have had the opportunity to serve at the highest levels of government.”
Ahead of the latest damning insight into an aspect of his stewardship as Cabinet Minister, Montague has come under public scrutiny over controversial contract award procedures at Clarendon Alumina Production (CAP), which manages the government’s 45% share in the Jamalco bauxite/alumina operation in Clarendon; questionable investment of public funds in a private company by the Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ); and a hugely problematic used car deal for police forces. These last three issues are still unresolved.
More details to come on the ongoing development leading up to Montague’s exit from the Cabinet.