I would like to clarify remarks that I
made pertaining to Dr Gavin Woods in a letter to the Witness
published on Saturday and in an interview to the Sunday Times.
The point I wished to make was that Dr
Woods disability prevents him from participating in our National
Council where Party policy and decision-making is taken.
According to our party's constitution, non-attendance would
normally disqualify people from parliament. An exception is, of
course, made for Dr Woods for the reasons I have stated.
I must however refute any perception that
has arisen that Dr Woods is a "token appointment"
because he is physically challenged. Dr Woods is both a gifted
public representative and a courageous man with a first-class
intellect. I also believe he is one of the finest
parliamentarians of our time. We all have a huge debt to pay to
Dr Woods for his work on SCOPA and much else besides.
If my remarks have caused offence to
disabled people, including Dr Woods, I unreservedly apologise. I
would be the last person to knowingly cause offence to people
who are physically challenged.
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