Jamaica's Opposition Leader Announce Plans to Renounce British Citizenship

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Opposition Leader Mark Golding Sunday announced that he would be revoking his British citizenship after indicating that he is doing so after taking into consideration the views of the public on the issue.

markgoldsMark Golding (File Photo)“Comrades we have reached a point now where we have some data on the views of the public on this matter,

“I do not want my status to be something which could hold the party back, impact the party negatively or any of our candidates who are on the way to victory in difficult seats which we are looking to win to have any kind of disadvantage because of my status,” Golding told a People’s National Party (PNP) meeting.

In May, Golding responding to questions about his citizenship, said that the queries were  politically motivated, acknowledging then that he got a British passport as a child but stressed that he travels on a Jamaican passport.

“I was born Jamaican and have a Jamaican passport. I’ve never hidden the fact that my father, who came to Jamaica from the UK, had got me a British passport when I was a young child,” he said, noting also that Jamaicans who hold citizenship for non-Commonwealth countries should be allowed to seek political office.

His statement was  criticised by government legislators including the parliamentary representative for St. Catherine South Western, Everald Warmington, who described that position as a “remarkable and hypocritical turnaround”.

Following the 2007 general election, the PNP went to court to have MPs with dual citizenship removed from Parliament. Warmington was among those targeted.”

As he addressed the PNP meeting on Sunday, said he had pledged that if it became apparent that the public’s view was that political leaders should be exclusively Jamaican citizens he “would take that into account” and as a result he has decided to “take that issue off the table” by renouncing his British citizenship.