Saturday 15 June, 2019

Speaker finds cell phone use during Parliament Sitting 'disrespectful'

Speaker of the House Arthur Holder warns Members of Parliament.

Speaker of the House Arthur Holder warns Members of Parliament.

The Speaker of the House has put his foot down in the Lower House, threatening to restrict the use of cell phones by Cabinet members during the sittings of Parliament.

Speaker of the House Arthur Holder brought parliament to a pause around 6:40 pm, tonight, Tuesday, December 18, 2018, during the contribution of the Minister of Housing, Lands and Rural Development, George Payne towards the Resolution – Land Acquisition Act, Cap 2228, Speightstown, St. Peter.

Regrettably and painstakingly His Honour said:

“Honourable member I do not want to interrupt you but I want to say something in this Chamber and it is causing me a level of disquiet and I will urge Honourable members don’t cause me so much disquiet.

“There seems to be a pattern developing in this Honourable Chamber where everyone is on their cell phone.”

Calling everyone to order, he continued, “Please, I think it is not only disrespectful to this Honourable Chamber and to the Speaker sitting here, but I wish to implore Honourable members that this is going out to the wider, to the country and people are talking about the disdain that is being reflected and being shown.

“Even if you want to have use of your cell phone, I understand the age of technology. It can be done discretely but it is being done so overt [sic]; not even under the cover of darkness, and I think it is totally disrespectful.”

But he did not stop there.

He uttered a stern promise saying, “And sooner or later I am going to put an end to it. That is all that I will say from this seat.”

Behind the Member of Parliament (MP) for St. Andrew who had the floor at the time of the incident, were the MP for Christ Church South and the MP for St. Michael North. The two were giggling as they conversed in hushed tones about something seen on a cell phone being passed between them.

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