House pays tribute to late Speaker Headley Cunningham - EntornoInteligente / Livern Barrett, Parliamentary Reporter

Parliamentarians on both sides this afternoon lauded former Speaker of the House of Representatives Headley Cunningham as a man of integrity and fairness.

Cunningham, who also served one term as Member of Parliament for Westmoreland North East on the People’s National Party ticket (PNP), died last Saturday.

Leader of the Opposition Dr  Peter Phillips said Cunningham was so even-handed that “some of us on the government side at the time felt impaired by his view of the exercise of fairness.” 

Phillips recounted an incident when a then minister of government objected “strenuously” to Cunningham’s exercise of his authority as House Speaker that it caused an impasse “which took many weeks and meetings to resolve.”

“In so exercising his duties, he emphasised that in his view, he was the guardian of the principles of the House and the impartiality of the presiding functions more so than a supporter of his political side at the time,” he said.

Leader of Government Business in the House of Representatives Karl Samuda said Cunningham could “easily be numbered among the finest who has ever occupied that chair.”

“His sense of balance and fair play, his level of impartiality in handling the affairs of this House, but his quiet but firm resolve to ensure that discipline prevails is something I will always remember,” Samuda said.

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LINK ORIGINAL: Jamaica Gleaner


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