Wednesday, January 24, 2018

McLeod taking ‘wait and see’ stance on Anil

Minister ‘on the fence’

LABOUR Minister Errol McLeod, who has acted as this country’s prime minister on several occasions, yesterday said he has adopted a “very middle and independent position” on whether Anil Roberts should step down or be fired as this country’s Sport Minister.

There has being a growing chorus calling for Roberts to be removed from this country’s Cabinet following allegations of impropriety unearthed by a Ministry of Finance audit into his brainchild, the LifeSport programme.

An online petition organised by Nicholas Thompson posted on Change.Org had 2,656 supporters up to press time last night.

“(Tuesday) we achieved our target of 2,000 signatures just around midnight. Today we continue the struggle. I was told that I’m endangering my young family by standing up for this cause. But ye do I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil. Those that oppose good governance are now attacking me on social media. I am certainly not afraid,” a notice from Thompson stated yesterday.

The Movement for Social Justice (MSJ), a one-time partner in the People’s Partnership coalition government, has planned a public picket outside the Sport Ministry’s office at Abercromby Street in Port of Spain today calling for the immediate firing of Roberts.

McLeod, the MSJ’s former leader, however, is on the fence on the Roberts issue.

He made his position known as he spoke to members of the media following the launch of the American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago’s (AmCham TT) 18th annual Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) conference and exhibition yesterday at the Hilton Trinidad, St Ann’s.

AmchamTT chief executive officer Nirad Tewarie said people responsible for the misappropriation of Government funds must be held accountable.

McLeod said he agreed with Tewarie’s position.

With regard to whether Roberts should step down as Sport Minister following the revelations from the audit into the Life­Sport programme, however, McLeod said he had adopted a wait-and-see approach to the situation.

“I subscribe to Mr Tewarie’s statement. I would, however, refrain from making comments on that instant case at this particular point in time,” McLeod said.

“No, I’m not saying that (there is no reason for Roberts to step down), neither am I saying that there is a reason. I have a very middle and independent position on this and we will see how it pans out,” McLeod said.