Dr. Horace Chang speaking with Morning Agenda host Jodi-Ann Quarrie
National Security Minister Dr. Horace Chang has said the public spat between Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips could damage political relations in Jamaica.
The leaders are at odds over the events of a meeting on the extension of the time for which Cabinet documents can remain a secret.
Dr. Phillips has said Mr. Holness's recollection of the events was untrue.
On Monday, he said, going forward, he was contemplating having a third party present when holding discussions with Mr. Holness due to his public disclosure of their discussion.
Speaking Tuesday on the Morning Agenda on Power 106, Dr. Chang, who is in charge of the government while the Prime Minister is overseas, said he views Dr. Phillips's comment as offensive and a personal attack on the Mr. Holness.
"The two of them had a discussion, one interpret in one direction and the other interpret it the other way. We have had consultations behind the Speaker's chamber from time to time...which help to smooth the way in parliament and I think that to go forward and call the Prime Minister a liar is far more offensive than telling me that you didn't have anything else out there," Dr. Chang argued.
He said the disagreement between the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader has the potential of damaging the level of cooperation and trust between the political leadership of the country, which has been integral in maintaining governance in difficult times, including throughout the recent economic adjustment.
Despite this, Dr. Chang still believes that the Mr. Holness and Dr. Phillips can move on from their public spat. He said both men have had differences before which have been settled quickly and amicably.