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JM | May 27, 2021

11 minutes of nothing: Dayton Campbell, you wasted a critical opportunity

Gavin Riley

Gavin Riley / Our Today

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FILE PHOTO: PNP General Secretary Dayton Campbell speaking at an August 2019 event. (Photo: Facebook @PeterBuntingJA)

Taking the time to slam People’s National Party (PNP) activist Karen Cross, the political organisation’s general secretary, Dayton Campbell, continues to make missteps in his attempts to address sexual misconduct allegations. 

Calling her a “malicious liar”, Campbell, who opened a defamation lawsuit, contended that redacting the names of alleged victims in fresh statements brought forward by Cross on their behalf, makes the claims “spurious” by nature.

Campbell, in a nearly 11-minute interview on Radio Jamaica’s Beyond The Headlines on Wednesday (May 26), stated clearly he had no intentions to resign from the post, despite recommendations from National Integrity Action (NIA) and other civil groups. 

“I think they may be a little precocious in their assessment and coming to a conclusion on the matter. This, what is taking place, is malicious and politically motivated,” Campbell said.

The former North West St Ann Member of Parliament (MP), instead of accepting the turmoil within the PNP, used the discord as the reason he missed out on a third term.

If that wasn’t confusing enough, Campbell then turns to (sort of) acknowledge Cross had a role to play in his successful bid to become PNP General Secretary, which he claimed was now being taken back from him.

PNP activist, Karen Cross. (Photo: Facebook @PNP876)

“These are people who are wicked beyond measure… If you want to take what you gave [to] me in terms of the General Secretary position in the party, that’s fair game for politics. But there are some other things that you did not give to me that you are also trying to take away,” he argued.

Arguably, the only thing of worth said was his willingness to be subjected to a probe by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), should the case be re-opened. 

“I am inviting the police to investigate the matter. I will subject myself to any form of investigation because I know that I am not guilty of these allegations,” the PNP gen sec indicated.

Albeit, this comes from the same Campbell who said, on record, that he didn’t think relaunching the investigation is a reasonable call—a position he later reneged on when Dionne Jackson Miller reminded him of the JCF statement assuring that police would have done so if new information or claims came to light.

Citing Cross’ lack of evidence to substantiate her claims against Campbell, the JCF further noted that the PNP activist was also unable to present anyone interested in making a claim against the father of three.

“As such, the investigation into this matter has come to a natural end. However, if Ms Cross or any other person wishes to provide credible information about this matter at a later date, we are willing to reopen our investigations,” the JCF advised in an April 18 statement.

Okay, digesting the full interview, I’m disappointed in Campbell’s ‘struggle pandering’ for nearly three minutes. 

It would have been better for Dayton to have dealt with this issue on his own; there was really no need for a full-blown PNP effort. (Photo: Twitter @JamaicaPNP)

Going on about how he grew up dirt-poor and rose to become a medical doctor, lawyer and MP by age 30—and the implications of these allegations on his mother and daughter—please, Dr Campbell, these are irrelevant to the matter at hand. 

Don’t even get me started on the two statements released by your legal team, which attempt to conflate your claims that Cross was previously convicted for electricity theft and was allegedly involved in a US visa scam while representing the PNP Youth Organisation. 

Might I add that neither can stand as basis for dismissing present allegations?

When has the boy (or in this instance the girl) who cried wolf ever stood up in the court of law? 

Last time I checked, everyone, even persons convicted, are afforded due process within the court and to paint this picture is distasteful. 

You said you knew what you were getting into when you joined representational politics…so, am I to assume that is what this smear campaign is about?

It is a very sensitive time in Jamaica as almost daily its citizens are bombarded with reports of the highest violations meted out to our children.

(Photo: Facebook @JamaicaConstabularyForce)

You failed to address the allegations in any substantive way, and it begs the question of whether you were advised by your legal team before heading into this interview. 

In actuality, it would have been better if you did like a certain Westmoreland MP and took a leave of absence. 

I’m also taken aback by the PNP’s stance in this matter, as the organisation to first report Cross to the police back in March, according to Campbell. Actually, no I’m not. If you have a loyal soldier, it’s almost expected you stick by your man, good times and bad. The optics are, however, very poor.

So if you aren’t stepping down (if even temporarily), or explaining the nature of your interactions with potentially underaged female constituents in any and every capacity as former MP, then may I ask, what was the point, Dr Campbell? 

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