UNC’s deputy political leader, Jearlean John

United National Congress (UNC) PRO Senator Anita Haynes claims the Peoples National Movement (PNM) Government is moving to have certain Opposition MPs arrested ahead of the 2020 general elections.

Haynes was responding to statements by National Security Minister Stuart Young who said in an interview on Monday on CNC3’s The Morning Brew that some sitting MPs are under investigations by the police for ties in the criminal underworld. She described Young’s utterances as “irresponsible and reckless”, adding that such sensitive information should not have entered the public domain.

Haynes, an attorney, said Young ought to be aware that matters being investigated by law enforcement officers should not be publicised.

“The question is why bring that investigation to the public before the investigation is completed before the police have a chance to do their work? By saying that, what did he hope to accomplish? If there is an ongoing investigation, chances are what he is doing is compromising that investigation,” she said.

Haynes said Young was dropping “crumbs of information to create a political story. When it is all said and done one thing may not be related to another. We don’t know at the end of the investigation if the police would have something to report on.”

She denied that any Opposition MPs were involved with criminals elements.

On the issue of whether the intent was to have Opposition MPs before the courts leading up to this year’s general election, Haynes replied: “Absolutely! That is basically the trend that they would have been going down.”

Last February, the UNC was locked in a war of words with Young over their decision to feature on their political platform Malone Hughes who was shot nine times while trying to save a woman. At a press conference, Young had revealed that Hughes had at least 22 criminals charges pending against him.

UNC’s deputy political leader Jearlean John had said Hughes was spared for a reason but maintained that she was unaware of Hughes’ criminal background.

John, who said she lives a life that could stand scrutiny, added: “My point is, I have absolutely no interaction with people who are lawless.”

She said fighting crime requires hard work which should not be politicised as Young has been doing. John said the PNM had demonised the HDC’s Colour Me Orange programme which provided jobs for young people in HDC communities.

John, the UNC’s coordinator for La Horquetta /Talparo, said the poor believe they are now invisible.

“Our young men are in crisis. You cannot leave some behind because it would only get worse. We have to build strong homes, strong families to have strong communities. If we don’t pay attention to the crime crisis we are all going to be involved in what is going on. Everyone is a victim now in this country.”