JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The House of Representatives, on Tuesday (February 4), paid tribute to former Member of Parliament (MP) for Clarendon South Eastern, Rudyard Spencer, who has stepped down from representational politics.
  • House Speaker, Pearnel Charles, said that Mr. Spencer had resigned with immediate effect.
  • Mr. Spencer served as MP for 18 years and was State Minister in the Ministry of National Security at the time of his resignation.

The House of Representatives, on Tuesday (February 4), paid tribute to former Member of Parliament (MP) for Clarendon South Eastern, Rudyard Spencer, who has stepped down from representational politics.

House Speaker, Pearnel Charles, said that Mr. Spencer had resigned with immediate effect.

Mr. Spencer served as MP for 18 years and was State Minister in the Ministry of National Security at the time of his resignation.

In his tribute, Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, expressed his sincere gratitude to the former MP, noting that as a past President of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU), Mr. Spencer represents the last of the outstanding “worker leadership” that has served in the Lower House.

“He really followed a distinguished team of national leaders and worker leadership, and the Member from South East Clarendon is certainly one of the giants of the trade union movement, who moved into the Parliament and served his constituency,” he noted.

Dr. Chang said it was a privilege to have worked with Mr. Spencer, adding that “I consider you a friend and I know you will still be serving your country in another capacity as you move on”.

Leader of Opposition Business in the Lower House, Dr. Morais Guy, in his remarks, thanked Mr. Spencer for his contribution, not only to the Parliament, but to the people of Jamaica.

“Ruddy belongs to the class of 2002. We arrived here together, and over the years, even though I knew of him before coming to Parliament, the relationship that existed since then has been one of strong friendship and good camaraderie,” Dr. Guy said.

“When he served as Minister of Health in 2007 to 2012, Ruddy was one of those Ministers who was approachable by everyone. I want to say to you, brethren, keep on being what you have been – a representative of the people of Jamaica,” he added.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Fayval Williams, for her part, noted that she worked with Mr. Spencer for two years at the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, where he was in charge of the public sector.

“It was during a two-year period when we were going through wage negotiations and I had the opportunity to be at many of those meetings with Ruddy to watch him as he engaged with the different union heads. You could see his many years of experience on display. I don’t recall any moment he lost his cool in all of this, even though the sessions were testy at times,” Mrs. Williams said.

Mr. Spencer, in his response, expressed gratitude to his fellow parliamentarians and the people of South East Clarendon.

He expressed confidence in the man who will replace him as the Jamaica Labour Party representative in the constituency, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr.

“Young Pearnel represents the ideal young man. He is bright and he is good. I am confident that the people of South East Clarendon are getting a valuable person to represent them,” he said.

Mr. Spencer was first appointed to the Senate in 1993 and served as Leader of the Opposition Business in the Upper House from 1995 to 1997.

He is a specialist in financial-sector worker representation and negotiations and held the positions of President, Senior Vice President and Senior Negotiating Officer at the BITU.

Mr. Spencer also served as Director of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU) and has represented the trade union movement internationally as a Member of the Caribbean Congress of Labour. He was also Chairman of the Joint BITU/JLP Committee.

Mr. Spencer was awarded the Order of Distinction (Commander Class) in 1995.