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This profile was last updated on 5/19/14  and contains information from public web pages.

Pennelope Beckles-Robinson

Wrong Pennelope Beckles-Robinson?

Employment History

  • Lady Vice Chairman
  • Prime Minister and Founder
  • Senator
  • Senator
117 Total References
Web References
That was the view of Pennelope ..., 19 May 2014 [cached]
That was the view of Pennelope Beckles-Robinson, who challenged Dr Keith Rowley for the post of political leader during yesterday's national executive elections.
Thanking her supporters, Beckles-Robinson said, "We just have to recognise that we have to do better the next time and of course the next time should be me leading the PNM. Beckles arrived shortly after 11 am to cast her ballot at the Arima Central Secondary School. She was accompanied by her husband, Noel Robinson. He is a party group vice chairman but his name was not on the list of electors.
The voting process was slow as Beckles-Robinson said she took some 45 minutes to complete the exercise. There were some 15 positions to be filled on the executive. She complained about the frustration and distress of members who lived in distant communities such as La Fillette, Blanchisseuse and Valencia who would have wanted to vote but were unable to do so. She said it was ridiculous and outrageous that there was only one poling station for the large Arima constituency.
She said while it might not have been deliberate, the party must take blame for the late availability and inaccuracies of the voters list. "As far as I am concerned the party simply was not ready for a one-man-one-vote. she insisted. That is not good for the party. I think it is a whole question of repercussions for the party later on because this is a process the whole country is looking at," she said.
According to Beckles-Robinson, the PNM's base support was not sufficient to win the 2015 general election. She said denying your own members the right to vote will adversely affect the party in the future. "They are the same people you have to go back and beg to vote for you because your base is clearly not enough for you to win," Beckles-Robinson added. She also said the PNM must seek to woo members of the COP and other parties for the next general election.
She said she had no intention of leaving the PNM and continues to aspire to lead the party.
In response, Beckles-Robinson ..., 11 May 2014 [cached]
In response, Beckles-Robinson did not confirm or deny she had queried Rowley's source of funding for the campaign but would only say, "I await the report and will then make my comments. I know what I know but I will make my comments when I get the report."
With just one week to go before the election, Beckles-Robinson, 53, told Sunday Newsday on Friday that her campaign has not been costly simply because she did not have the funds.
"My campaign has not been high-profile because I do not have the funds," she said in a wide-ranging interview at her law office, Uptown Mall, upper Edward Street, Port-of-Spain.
Beckles-Robinson said her campaign has been funded largely from contributions from businessmen, members of the legal fraternity and even some of her own family members.
"There are just people who support me," she said.
Due to its costly nature, Beckles-Robinson admitted that she was only able to afford the broadcast for three live meetings during her campaign, the most recent being at the Mickey Trotman Recreation Ground in Pinto Road, Arima, last Friday night.
"My focus has really been on the ground," she said, adding that candidates on her Team Penny slate have even opted to do their own advertising to keep overall costs to a minimum.
Although she downplayed recent polls which put Rowley as the frontrunner in the election race, Beckles-Robinson said while she is not overly concerned, such surveys "do offer an indication (of an outcome) and are not to be taken lightly."
She queried the methods that were employed in the survey, noting that it was mainly PNM members and UNC supporters who were sampled as opposed to the PNM's rank and file.
Beckles-Robinson noted, however, that the surveys still favoured her to take the PNM into next year's general election.
"I am still the person with the cross-over appeal," Beckles-Robinson said.
Win or lose in the election, Beckles-Robinson is pleased about the manner in which she had conducted her campaign.
"I have been enjoying it, meeting the people on the ground and listening to their concerns," she said.
Having contested five major elections during her 24 years in the party, she admitted that the campaign was also challenging at times.
"It is a lot of hard work and it takes a lot out of you," Beckles-Robinson said, adding that she is still to get a comprehensive list of possible voters from the PNM's elections supervisory committee - an issue that has been on the front burner of her campaign within recent weeks.
Beckles-Robinson, who held several ministerial positions in the Manning administration, says she will not fade into oblivion should she lose the election.
"I have all intention to remain committed to assist the party in returning to government come 2015," she said.
The outgoing lady vice-chairman of the PNM, Beckles-Robinson said she is aware that she may face some form of ostracism within the PNM in the aftermath of the eagerly-anticipated poll but insists that such scenarios are part and parcel of politics.
Beckles-Robinson also recalled that late President and Prime Minister Arthur NR Robinson and Queen's Counsel, Karl Hudson Phillips, who were once part of the PNM, had also left the party's fold for various reasons.
Campaign huddle: Pennelope ..., 12 Feb 2014 [cached]
Campaign huddle: Pennelope Beckles-Robinson, right, candidate for the post of political leader in the upcoming People's National Movement (PNM) internal elections, speaks to members of her campaign team during a cottage meeting at Radix Beach Resort at Church Road, Mayaro, on Tuesday night.
Pennelope speaks out on party reaction to her challenge for leadership:
On Tuesday, Beckles-Robinson said many party members had an issue with her contesting against Rowley and were mistaking her meekness for weakness.
Beckles-Robinson was speaking at a cottage meeting at Radix Beach Resort in Mayaro. She said: "I have been a member of the PNM for 22 years. The minute I indicated I would consider running for the post of political leader, all hell seemed to be broken loose. The fact is, I was good enough all the time, until I made the statement. Having made that statement, all of a sudden you are hearing all sorts of things." Beckles-Robinson, who listed her achievements, said: "Those who questioned my loyalties need to look at my track record." "I want to make it abundantly clear that there are some who are saying this is the wrong time. What is a good time? she asked. After many years of being a part of the PNM, Beckles-Robinson said: "I am ready to be leader of the PNM." The main reason why she decided to run the race for leadership was because people made a " resounding call" for her to contest the party's first election of a leader using the one-man-one-vote system. Beckles-Robinson is Rowley's only challenger. Her greatest inspiration came from former prime minister and founder of the PNM Dr Eric Williams, she said. One of the problems faced by PNM members was that they did not know the history of their party and the contribution it made to Trinidad and Tobago, she said. Beckles-Robinson said: "If they want to challenge my leadership at any point in time, follow the history of the PNM." Beckles-Robinson said she chose Mayaro to have her first of a series of meetings because Williams inspired her to run for leadership. It was on the beach in Mayaro that the nation's first Cabinet meeting was held in 1956 under Williams, who was then Chief Minister. Beckles-Robinson said: "We are making history. This is where I begin my campaign for leadership of the PNM." The issue of gender has been raised as a campaign issue, but Beckles-Robinson said it was the "women who work night and day to put the PNM in office". "People are extremely angry and aggressive. We don't know how to talk to each other and people mistake quietness sand gentleness for weakness," Beckles-Robinson said. She encouraged all citizens to be more productive and "burn the midnight oil" if they wanted to see changes in the country. Beckles-Robinson listened to the pleas of constituents, who complained about infrastructure and transportation, and said she will do every­thing she can to assist.
Pennelope Beckles-Robinson ..., 7 Feb 2014 [cached]
Pennelope Beckles-Robinson yesterday officially confirmed she will be contesting the post of political leader of the People's National Movement (PNM). She said she understands the hurt the people of this country are facing and is ready to work to bring about change and solutions. Beckles-Robinson, a former PNM senator, met with Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley yesterday for about 15 minutes at the Parliament building, International Waterfront Complex, Port of Spain, where she disclosed to him her decision to challenge him in the May 18 PNM internal elections. Her decision is a historic one as it would be the first time in the PNM's 58-year history that a woman has taken the step to contest the internal polls and lead the male-dominated oldest political party in the country. Beckles-Robinson, the PNM's lady vice chairman, told the Express although there were reports in the media that she had indicated at a PNM meeting in Arima this week that she was going to contest the leadership, she did not want to make a public statement via the media until she spoke to Rowley. She said this was the respectful thing to do and now that she has met with Rowley, her own campaign will soon kick off. Questioned on an officers' meeting at Balisier House on Thursday evening where members moved a vote to endorse Rowley for political leader, Beckles-Robinson said she was not disturbed by this, adding that the party will hold its executive meetings where motions can be officially moved and votes taken. Asked what led to her decision to throw her hat in the election ring, Beckles-Robinson said her move was fuelled by love for people and country. "Having served in different capacities within the PNM political party and the PNM government, I recognise that a positive political change is required. We need to have compassionate leaders who understand the different types of hurt within society. "We need to have leaders who are responsive to this hurt and more importantly leaders who can be pragmatic in creating solutions for our various communities," she said. She said the Constitution allows every citizen of this country the right to offer themselves for leadership. "We need to have individuals in positions of leadership who not only have the necessary governmental and political experience but we need to have leaders who have great connectivity and understanding the challenges of our citizens," she said. The PNM, she said, is a 58-year-old party and its institutional strengthening lies within its democratic processes. She said the modernisation of the party's voting system through the one-man one-vote augers well for competitive political elections. Beckles-Robinson said the PNM will only grow from strength to strength if all positions within the party hierarchy are competitively contested. "As a candidate for the political leadership, I believe it is important that the membership of the party have the opportunity of making choices. Democracy is all about choices and the party members deserve the right to select their political leader under a process of public scrutiny and accountability," she said. She said the party membership must have internal debate as to the relationship between the party and the government and the government's structure required to modernise the PNM.
Former Opposition senator Pennelope ..., 20 Mar 2015 [cached]
Former Opposition senator Pennelope Beckles-Robinson lamented on Wednesday night it has been a difficult time for her.
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