MARY KING'S ministerial and senatorial appointments have been revoked by President George Maxwell Richards.
A release from the Government Information Services Ltd last night stated that Richards had "revoked with immediate effect the appointment of Ms Mary Kathleen King as a Senator and Minister of Planning, Economic and Social Restructuring and Gender Affairs made by Instrument dated 28 May, 2010."
Richards acted in accordance with the advice of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the release stated.
Earlier yesterday, Persad-Bissessar sounded a warning to her Cabinet saying King's dismissal should serve as wake-up call to every member.
"I think it will serve as a warning and a wake-up call to every member of the Cabinet who is interested in serving the people and doing so with transparency and accountability. It will be a lesson to all of us," Persad-Bissessar told members of the media following a meeting with Richards.
Persad-Bissessar yesterday met with Richards for about 30 minutes at Knowsley, Queen's Park West, Port of Spain.
Following the meeting which started at 11.30 a.m., Persad-Bissessar and her entourage drove to the Queen's Park Savannah opposite Knowsley and met with members of the media.
"It (the revocation of King's appointments) is not about making an example. Giving what has transpired it is what is the right thing to do," Persad-Bissessar said.
King has been dismissed following a Sunday Express exclusive investigation detailing her involvement in the awarding of a $100,000 contract to a company, Ixanos, in which her family has an interest.
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan was mandated by Persad-Bissessar to investigate the claims made against King.
"We were waiting on the AG's report. New information has come to light since the documents were presented to us and on the basis of that new information I have taken the decision (to revoke King's appointment)," Persad-Bissessar said.
"I am very disappointed. It is a very sad day for us but it has to be done," Persad-Bissessar said.
King was absent from yesterday's sitting of the Upper House in the Red House, Port of Spain.
Persad-Bissessar said due to the timing of the revocation there was not sufficient time to name a replacement for King at yesterday's Senate sitting.
Today there will be a new Minister of Planning, Economic and Social Restructuring and Gender Affairs, Persad-Bissessar said.
Persad-Bissessar said there was no pressure on her to replace King with another member of the Congress of the People (COP).
"There is no pressure. There is absolutely no pressure. We will select a candidate who we believe will be able to do the job to the best of their ability," Persad-Bissessar said.
Asked if the coalition government was weakening, she said: "The government is not weakening, we are very strong. We remain very committed, very strong, focussed and working. What this does show is we need to revoke a minister and if we have to we will do it again," Persad-Bissessar said.
Persad-Bissessar said investigations are currently taking place to ensure that proper procedure was followed when Ixanos was awarded the contract.
"We will have to look into that and if the contract was improperly awarded, and I make no judgment on that, the contract will have to be revoked," Persad-Bissessar said.