Government revokes controversial knighthoods

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Anthony Bailey and the six other members of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George have all had their honours and knighthoods from Antigua & Barbuda annulled.
Governor General Sir Rodney Williams said he could not comment on the matter at the moment when he was contacted by OBSERVER media Saturday morning.
However, a letter signed by Sir Rodney and dated July 21, says the honours have been revoked. OBSERVER media discovered the letter online at Caribbean News Now.
Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George exchanged honours with members of the government of Antigua and Barbuda in November of 2014.
Since then, controversy has shrouded the exchange and the government later said a review of the honours was being done.
In the letter, Sir Rodney informs Anthony Bailey that a review is complete and “irregularities” have been identified in the process of conferring the honours.
Sir Rodney says “it was concluded” that the National Honours Act of 1998 did not provide for the conferral of institutional honours or the exchange of honours”.
This fact therefore invalidated the government’s actions in granting Bailey and his colleagues Antiguan and Barbudan knighthoods.
It is not clear why the government did not interpret the Act this way before it granted the honours, but Attorney General Steadroy Cutie Benjamin, who is currently acting as Prime Minister, says he will speak on the issue next week.
Bailey was appointed to the Most Distinguished Order of the Nation. Sir Rodney asks Bailey in the letter to return his insignia and certificate of membership to the High Commission in London.
The controversy that surrounded the honours was due to the allegation that they were conferred in exchange for donations.
The members of the contingent made donations of approximately EC $1.5 million to be used for various charitable works.
In May of last year, the Governor General “withdrew” two of the seven honours citing a need to “do a more detailed due diligence”.
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