PLP Statement On Marcus Jones’ Candidacy

September 13, 2023 | 7 Comments

[Updated] The PLP said they find it in “extreme distaste” that the OBA announced “disgraced former Senator Marcus Jones as the OBA candidate for Pembroke West,” citing his “controversial comments that caused him to resign from the Senate.

PLP Deputy Chairperson Lauren Hayward-Bell said, “The Progressive Labour Party finds it in extreme distaste that OBA Leader Jarion Richardson would announce disgraced former Senator Marcus Jones as the OBA candidate for Pembroke West. One does not have to look too far in the past to uncover Mr. Jones controversial comments that caused him to resign from the Senate under the leadership of Cole Simons.

“In February 2022, the then Senator resigned from the Senate after making comments implying that young girls were inviting sexual assault through irresponsible use of social media and their mode of dress.”

“Senators exchanged words after a statement on Teen Dating Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month, with Senator Lindsay Simmons saying she was ‘appalled’ by a comment made by Senator Marcus Jones.”

“I am not saying they deserve the bad abuse, they shouldn’t, we all agree with that,” OBA Senator Marcus Jones said.

“But I do believe that our young people are inviting this type of behaviour because they are ignorantly getting on social media and putting themselves up, and putting themselves in harm’s way.”

“He was quickly taken to task by PLP Senator Lindsay Simmons who immediately reminded him that none of those behaviors should be mistaken as inciting or inviting unwanted sexual advances.”

Audio of the exchange in the Senate last year

“It is unfathomable that a mere 18 months later, Mr. Jones is announced as an OBA candidate once again.

“Does Mr. Richardson feel that Mr. Jones has served his time out of the political fold? How does Mr. Richardson truly feel about Mr. Jones’ comments? Would Mr. Richardson feel comfortable with Mr. Jones a member of his Parliamentary Team or Cabinet?

“Most importantly, do the women of the OBA condone this sexist, victim-blaming mindset?

“In keeping with our Platform, the PLP Government has been committed to strengthen protections against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. In 2021, the PLP Government added protections against workplace bullying and sexual harassment under the Employment Act 2000.

“In addition, legislation was amended to protect persons from the non-consensual sharing of intimate images otherwise known as ‘revenge porn’ and enhanced penalties for sexual predators and public notification of sex offenders were adopted. Most recently, the PLP Government established a Domestic Abuse Strategy for Bermuda.

“In the meantime, it seems that the Jarion Richardson-led OBA is hoping that the Bermuda public have short memories. The Opposition thought the Bermuda electorate would not remember the Leah Scott & Ben Smith xenophobia tirade. If that was not enough, the OBA leadership now hopes that women in Bermuda and their families would forget about Marcus Jones’ extremely distasteful comments.”

Update 1.18pm: OBA Chairman Aguinaldo Medeiros said, “At what point will the Progressive Labour Party stop looking backwards as a way to create the narrative that the One Bermuda Alliance does not care about the people of Bermuda?

“It never misses an opportunity to show it is a better Opposition than government.

“After trying to unsuccessfully paint Senate Leader Ben Smith as xenophobic despite him being clear that this was untrue, now the PLP has decided to make our candidate for constituency 19, Marcus Jones, its newest target.

“During a time when the people of Bermuda are desperate for the cost of living to go down, desperate for affordable healthcare and want to ensure that their children are receiving a quality education, the PLP instead chooses to be trite. How will personal attacks help the people of Bermuda?

“It’s time for the OBA to stop being weaponised at the PLP’s convenience. Let’s focus on making Bermuda better for everyone.

“While some may take issue with Mr Jones being unveiled as a candidate, he is a hard worker who genuinely cares about the betterment of Bermuda and her people.

“Mr Jones has made comments in the past that some may not have agreed with, but it does not make him untenable. He has been unwavering in his commitment to Bermuda and the constituents in Pembroke West for a number of years.

“The PLP and its candidates have not been flawless in character, so why does it act like it is the exception to the rule?

“There’s hardly an ethical standard which has not been shattered or stood on by members of its caucus.

“The PLP keeps ‘telling’ the public that certain decisions are taken by our Leader, Jarion Richardson, when in fact this is incorrect. This is a clear attempt to undermine Mr Richardson’s leadership. When will it stop?

“It’s imperative that the PLP focus on the people of Bermuda. Our survival lies in its hands.”

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Comments (7)

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  1. A Refection of what they see! says:

    His words were poorly put together that’s for sure!!!

    But it’s time for adults to look in the mirror. How many 50 year old women post everything from their spin classes, workouts, lunches, dinners parties, travel, dresses half way up their backside and hanging out their front side on social media. Then we scream young people are putting too much inappropriate stuff on social media.

    I know females/leaders in the education system who post stuff that I am aghast at seeing. Sometimes I wonder how they have time to work they post 10 times a day! So stop criticizing our young folks and have the “50” year old generation clean up their acts and set an example.

    I admit, I was surprised to see Mr, Jones as a candidate.

    • Heya says:

      I listened to the audio, his question was asking is the government providing any education on the risks of social media and dating sites. He was crudely trying to explain that how you present yourself online can increase the risk of abuse. We all 100% agree it shouldn’t and we all agree 100% there shouldn’t be abusers. Unfortunately there are groomers, and abusers in societies worldwide that have access to these social media sites and dating apps.

      Our children therefore are at risk.

      How can we reduce the risk for them?

      1) Through education of parents to help with approaches to parenting through the range of open conversations with their teenagers, monitoring use of smart phones and internet, to outright restrictions.
      2) Through education of teenagers on the risks of social media and dating apps.

      He was asking what the Government was doing with regards to education and programs.

      I think pretending there are no risks of how you present yourself online is short sighted. With AI there will be data pulls and information pulls available at the blink of an eye. That collection of information will be used to assess you for job suitability, for financial loans suitability, but could also be used for nefarious purposes.

      We all need to educate ourselves and ask what Government is doing to support this education process especially in the light of the dawn of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

  2. watching says:

    If it was bad enough for him to resign over, why is it all of a sudden not an issue? The Party and Mr. Jones should have just stood firm back then.

    • Voter says:

      Pickings are slim in the oba. The white intelligent candidates understand it’s a waste of time to run, so now the party has to look for surrogates.

    • Question says:

      I don’t recall you saying this about Roban. But of course that was about ethics, which don’t matter to the PLP.

  3. Now Ya Nice says:

    You all looked the other way at all that DREB said and did and he never apologized for anything and left this island in a desperate state while his company prospered.

  4. Ringmaster says:

    The PLP must be getting really worried about their record and desperate to divert attention from their failings when they resort to attacking individuals.

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