Broomes calls on Norton to step aside to allow impartial probe of Vanessa Kissoon’s allegations

Broomes calls on Norton to step aside to allow impartial probe of Vanessa Kissoon’s allegations

Women Rights Activist and longtime member of the People’s National Congress Reform, Simona Broomes, has issued a call for her party Leader, Aubrey Norton, to step down and allow an impartial probe into the allegations of sexual assault threats leveled against him by party colleague, Vanessa Kissoon.

Norton is currently seeking re-election as the Leader of the People’s National Congress. The party’s congress and elections are one week away.

In a letter to the Central Executive Committee of the Party and other party members, Ms. Broomes said the Opposition was on the forefront of fighting a former Government Minister who has been accused sexual assault and rape, and although the allegations made against Norton may be less gruesome, the allegations must be addressed.

“Comrades we cannot pretend that we do not hear or that what has been said is untrue without the minimum of a denial of said allegation made against the Cde Leader by the named victim, or the truth being discerned from an internal investigation.  It would serve the Cde Leader well should he address this matter publicly as well as internally as per organisation custom, practice and precedent. To protect the image of the Party and distinguish it from the PPP in terms of management of said crisis, the Cde. Leader should step down with immediate effect for the investigation to proceed,” Broomes said in a letter to her party comrades.

Broomes, who is a well known advocate for women’s rights and a supporter of the fight against sexual abuse, said women and girls must always be respected. She said their allegations must always be taken seriously.

Aubrey Norton and Vanessa Kissoon

The former APNU+AFC Government Minister said the National Congress of Women, which is the women’s arm of the PNC, must also make known its position on the issue.

“I urge our NCW to reach out to the alleged victim and to provide counselling where necessary even as we work this through as a Party that understands the importance of the accused being innocent until proven guilty; the dignity and right of the alleged victim to protection; safeguarding the image of our party as a responsible alternative to the PPP, with accountability and unity on the issue of social justice,” Ms. Broomes noted.

Broomes said every decision maker in the PNC must ensure a safe environment for women and girls.

Mr. Norton has denied the allegations leveled against him. In a video statement yesterday, PNC Member, Vanessa Kissoon provided details of the alleged incident while fighting back tears. She said the alleged threat occurred some years ago.

News Source understands that the issue came up in last evening’s Central Executive Committee meeting of the PNC Reform, but Mr. Norton refused to speak on it, telling the Committee that the issue is a private matter.

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