Former Foreign Affairs Minister Karl Hood said “cabinet became an exercise of hypocrisy” and as such could not continue to be part of it.
He addressed a news conference on Thursday afternoon after submitting his letter of resignation to Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.
“You think you working with a team when you sit in cabinet and you don’t realize that you are being dubbed as a traitor, trying to bring down the government…behind your back,” Hood told CMC following the media briefing.
“I think I would not live with that; I cannot live with that; I’d rather step away from it all than to continue being a part of it.”
During his three and half years in government, Hood at different occasions, served as Minister for Ecclesiastical Affairs, Social Development, Labour, Environment and Foreign Affairs. Today he complained that he was not allowed to serve in any of these Ministries as he could have and “was made to look incompetent and inert so much so that I was dubbed a non performer by the media.”
Reading from a copy of the letter he submitted to Prime Minister Thomas, Hood said “I will not stay to give support to the utterances of Senator (Glen) Noel nor your chief of staff (William Joseph)…I know that it will be too much to ask that he be removed not to change the course of action that has made me look ineffective in my constituency…so I am left with no other option than to resign.”
This is the second time that Senator Glen Noel, the new Information Minister, has been accused of causing a senior government minister to resign. Peter David in his resignation speech three weeks ago, said he could not remain in the cabinet, following utterance by Senator Noel, recorded on video and widely distributed on the internet, naming him as one of the cabinet members, trying to oust Prime Minister Thomas.
Hood also said that he felt his constituency was unfairly treated especial in the area of project distribution. He listed instances when he approached the cabinet for funding for infrastructural projects in his constituency and despite his begging, his requests were over looked for constituencies of other cabinet members, whom he said he will not name.
“I’ve begged, I’ve pleaded, I’ve quarreled in cabinet over and over again, for that piece of road in Confor to be fixed since 2008 and…it’s still not fixed.”
“The people of (St. George) South East have suffered…it’s not for lack of trying, not for lack of asking, and I’ve said weekly in cabinet, that as an elected member, I should not be begging, we should be sharing,” Hood told a packed news conference.
“I said to one MP and I wouldn’t call their name now, it is wrong for you to be able to speak about twenty projects that were done in your constituency last year and I couldn’t speak of any,” Hood said.
During the 2012 budget debate in March, Parliamentary Representative for St. Andrew’s North West, Alleyne Walker boasted of being able to accomplish approximately twenty small projects in his constituency.
Chairman of the National Democratic Congress Pastor Stanford Simon, along with fired Environment Minister Joseph Gilbert and Michael Church, who resigned from the cabinet in 2010, attended the press conference.
Hood who himself was an Evangelical Pastor before entering the political arena, said he is not yet sure what would be his next course of action. He has intimated that he may go back into the gospel ministry full-time but he is adamant that he will not leave the party.
“As it relates to what’s next, I feel somewhat like Abraham, when called out of Ur of the Chaldeans not knowing where he was going or where he would end up…what happens next, I have no control over this…I have full confidence in God.”©